The Google boys wanted to show off their number theory chops. Steve Jobs needed to win.
Perhaps if it had been Google (GOOG) that was getting hauled into court for patent violations it would have fought harder to win this week's auction for the rich portfolio of intellectual property bequeathed by the bankrupt Nortel Corp.
But it was Google's Android partners -- the HTCs, Motorolas and Samsungs of the world -- that were getting sued for making smartphones that look and feel suspiciously like the iPhone.
And when bidding for the patents that would have bought Android some legal protection got serious, Google started playing games.
Quoting "three people with direct knowledge of the situation," Reuters reported late Friday that Google was making bids that were literally irrational -- using numbers like Brun's constant (1.902160540...), the Meissel-Mertens constant (0.2614972128...) and, when they got permission to go past the $3 billion limit, pi (3.14159...).
"Google was bidding with numbers that were not even numbers," one of Reuters' sources said.
Said to join Google, Intel, Ericcson and RPX in a bid for 6,000 telephony patents
This was the week we found out how valuable telecommunications patents can be.
On Tuesday, Apple (AAPL) settled its long-running patent dispute with Nokia (NOK) for what analysts estimate could be as much as $1 billion in licensing fees.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had joined the crowd of companies bidding for the telephony MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 17, 2011 3:33 PM ET
'Smarter is coming' in the form of an old OS on good hardware.
Update: Right on time, Sony press release pasted below
As reported last week, it looks like Sony's Xperia X10 Smartphone is launching tomorrow on AT&T. Sony has put up a countdown page which should put the launch at Monday at Noon. Not only is that device below a spitting image of the back of a X10, but the source code MORESeth Weintraub - Aug 8, 2010 6:50 PM ET
Even the wireless industry's biggest bulls couldn't have predicted the coming mobile explosion.
Wireless phone companies and equipment manufacturers totally underestimated the potential of their own industry, says Ericsson (ERIC) CEO Hans Vestberg. Now he and his company are preparing for a totally interconnected world in which billions of consumers -- and machines -- talk non-stop to one another via wireless networks.
"What I've learned in this industry, and I've spent 18 MOREStephanie N. Mehta, Deputy Managing Editor - Mar 29, 2010 6:45 AM ET
Douglas L. Gilstrap, newly named head of strategy for Ericsson (ERIC) doesn't start his new gig until Oct 1, but it is pretty clear the U.S.-born Gilstrap aims to push the Swedish telecom equipment maker to do more deals like the $5 billion, seven-year contract it recently inked with Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint (S).
Gilstrap, a veteran of network operators such as Britain's Cable & Wireless, told Brainstorm Tech he thinks MOREStephanie N. Mehta, Deputy Managing Editor - Aug 11, 2009 12:32 PM ET
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