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August 3, 2011 / David Bleeker

InterDigital’s patents could fetch more than $5 billion

InterDigital’s engineers invented some of the technology for high-speed mobile phone networks now used by the world’s biggest handset makers. The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based company may fetch more than $5 billion, according to analysts at Algorithm Capital and Dougherty & Co. Other companies including Eastman Kodak Co. (EK) are also selling patent portfolios.

“InterDigital has a lot of key patents,” Lee Seung Woo, a Seoul-based analyst at Shinyoung Securities Co., said by telephone. “The fight between Apple and Samsung is getting serious, so if the assets go to Apple, it could be pretty risky for Samsung. To hedge the risk, Samsung could go ahead with bidding, although they may have to pay a big premium.”

Apple and Google are weighing possible bids, a person familiar with the matter said last month.

During the second quarter, Apple and Samsung became the top two makers of smartphones after their shipments trumped those of Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) for the first time, research firm Strategy Analytics said last week. Apple’s iPhones accounted for 18.5 percent of global smartphone shipments, followed by Samsung’s 17.5 percent and Nokia’s 15.2 percent, according to the researcher. [read more]

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