Intel splashes out $375m on network patents

The price tag covers patents related to Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G networks, all bought from Interdigital

Intel today confirmed a $375m deal with Interdigital to acquire around 1,700 of its patents relating to networking and mobile technologies.

The main areas covered include the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard, 3G connectivity and Long Term Evolution (LTE or 4G) patents, but includes a number of pending applications for copyright too.

Interdigital is playing down the effect it will have on the company, with its senior executive vice-president of strategy and finance, Scott McQuilkin, saying the deal only included a “small portion" of its overall patent portfolio.

However, it marks the next stage of an ongoing investment into mobile technologies for Intel, which recently launched its first ever handset into the market – the co-branded Orange San Diego.

"These patents will support Intel's strategic investments in the mobile segment," said Doug Melamed, senior vice-president and general counsel at Intel. "The addition of these patents expands our already large, strong and diverse portfolio of intellectual property."

The patents are likely to complement the latest dual-core Atom processor – the range used in mobile devices and netbooks – which is codenamed Clover Trail and due later in the year.

Intel revealed earlier this month that it had already won contracts for 20 Windows 8 tablets to be based on the upcoming processor.   

The $375m deal with Interdigital will be paid in a cash sum, with the acquisition expected to be finalised in the third quarter of this year – if all the regulatory bodies give it the green light.

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