Apple and Google are weighing bids for InterDigital, a mobile-technology R&D firm that holds an extensive patent portfolio related to digital wireless radiotelephony technology, including 3G and 4G, according to Bloomberg.
InterDigital's wireless patents, according to its CEO, are "deeper and stronger" than Nortel's. A consortium led by Apple purchased Nortel's thousands of patents for $4.5 billion last month beating out a bid by Google.
As of December 31, 2010, its patent portfolio consisted of approximately 1,300 United States patents (approximately 150 of which were issued in 2010) and approximately 7,500 non-United States patents (approximately 1,200 of which were issued in 2010). As of December 31, 2010, the Company had approximately 1,200 pending applications in the United States and approximately 8,500 pending non-United States patent applications. The patents and applications consists of its portfolio relate predominantly to digital wireless radiotelephony technology (including, without limitation, 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies).
InterDigital's stock price rose steeply over the past two days after news of Apple and Google's interest began to leak out. InterDigital currently has a market cap of $3.1 billion. The company announced in a press release that it had "initiated a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives for the company, which may include a sale or other transaction."
InterDigital claims licensing agreements with dozens of companies including Apple, HTC, Nokia, and RIM.