Apple recently recorded the receipt of 200 patents and pending patent applications from the electronics company Freescale Semiconductor, reports “PatentlyO” (http://macte.ch/L8X4F), a patent law blog.
Although not recorded until May 18, 2011, the assignment is dated April 11, 2011. “PatentlyO” notes that the law doesn’t require that patent assignments be recorded. However, the recordation of rights protects the assignee against others who may later claim rights under color of title. The assignment records available only indicate that Apple received an “assignment of assignors interest.”
“Thus, it is unclear from the information now available whether (1) Apple obtained full title to the patents and (2) whether Apple purchased the rights or obtained them through some other type of transaction,” says “PatentlyO.” “However, a cash purchase is likely because Apple has a large multi-billion-dollar cash surplus while Freescale has a large multi-billion-dollar debt that has come due. The patents were previously mortgaged and a release of the security interest has not yet been recorded.”
Freescale was one of the first semiconductor companies in the world, having started as a division of Motorola in Phoenix, Arizona in 1949. It was created by the divestiture of the Semiconductor Products Sector of Motorola in 2004.
— Dennis Sellers