Wall Street Journal writes a group of tech giants have teamed up to buy intellectual property to defend themselves against patent-infringement lawsuits. This new group is dubbed Allied Security Trusts and among its members are Google, Cisco, Verizon and Ericsson.
Several tech-industry heavyweights are banding together to defend themselves against patent-infringement lawsuits. Their plan: to buy up key intellectual property before it falls into the hands of parties that could use it against them, say people familiar with the matter.
Verizon Communications Inc., Google Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson and Hewlett-Packard Co. are among the companies that have joined a group calling itself the Allied Security Trust, these people say.
One high-profile patent case that sent shivers through the tech industry was BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd.'s $612.5 million settlement in 2006 with NTP Inc., a small Virginia firm that held patents related to wireless email delivery but had never produced a mobile-email device. The four-year legal battle at one point threatened to shut down BlackBerry service nationwide.