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三星收购黑莓的落足点:专利

2015-01-20Heather Clancy
对三星将以75亿美元收购黑莓的传闻,两家公司都予以否认。但这一消息让人们注意到了一笔被忽略的“财富”:黑莓持有的丰富知识产权。

对于上周有媒体称三星和黑莓正在进行收购洽淡的报道,两家公司都迅速予以否认。但全球最大的智能手机厂商为何愿意付出传闻中的75亿美元高价,来收购一家盛年不再的加拿大技术公司呢?答案是:因为后者持有丰富的知识产权——尤其是在前景光明的安全创新领域。

    引发收购热议的是一篇路透社的报道,报道援引了一份关于潜在交易的文档作为消息源。实际上,三星已经至少一次地表示过对黑莓的兴趣了,那时还是2012年。而对于最新的谣言,传闻被收购的目标黑莓首先跳出来否认交易正在进行。

    黑莓在周三下午的一份声明中表示:“黑莓尚未与三星进行过任何潜在的收购谈判。黑莓的方针是不对谣言和揣测加以评论,因此我们也不会对此做出进一步说明。”

    三星的声明则更加简短:“媒体对收购的报道毫无根据。”

    人们揣测的重点在于黑莓健全的知识产权体系。黑莓拥有4.4万项专利,这一数值还在持续增长。比如就在去年10月,该公司就至少获得了27项专利,涉及领域涵盖电话会议界面、触摸屏,以及供智能手机、眼镜、健康腕带等可穿戴设备使用的安全功能等等。安全性仍然是黑莓业务中最大的卖点。只要问问索尼影视部门就知道了,在去年感恩节遭受黑客攻击后,他们“求助”了过时的黑莓才重新启动了通信设备。

    尽管随着2014年末几项官司尘埃落定,手机专利战争似乎已经降温,但新年伊始,苹果与爱立信就又在无线通讯的专利费率上爆发冲突。黑莓过去就是一家热爱诉讼的公司:他们甚至因为名人瑞安•西克雷斯特设计的手机键盘而起诉他。但近些日子以来,公司更多地把工作重心放在了让智能手机消费者相信他们的技术依旧很棒,或至少很有意义上。

    无论黑莓和三星联姻这种事是否发生,时代的发展已经凸显了移动技术下一波创新(和诉讼)浪潮的所在:在日益移动化的世界中掌握权限控制方法,阻止企业遭到黑客袭击。(财富中文网)

    译者:严匡正

    Both Samsung and BlackBerry quickly put the kibosh on a report Wednesday afternoon that the two are engaged in takeover talks. But why would the world’s biggest smartphone company pay a rumored $7.5 billion for a Canadian tech company whose glory days are past? Answer: Its rich intellectual property portfolio—especially all its juicy security innovations.

    The excitement was triggered by a Reuters story that cited documents about the potential transaction as the source of its information. Samsung actually has made at least one play for BlackBerry BBRY -19.77% before, in 2012. As to this latest rumor, the alleged takeover target was the first to refute that a deal is in the works.

    “BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry,” the company said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. “BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.”

    Samsung’s comment was shorter: “Media reports of the acquisition are groundless.”

    At the center of the speculation is BlackBerry’s healthy intellectual property portfolio, 44,000 patents and still growing. Last October, for example, the company won at least 27 new ones—covering everything from conference-calling interfaces to touch screens to security features for wearable technologies such as smart watches, eyeglasses and fitness bands. Security continues to be BlackBerry’s biggest selling point with businesses. Just ask the Sony movie studio division, which “resorted” to outdated BlackBerrys to restart communications after its security breach last Thanksgiving.

    Although it looked like the mobile patent wars might cool off after several settlements late in 2014, this year kicked off with a skirmish between Apple and Ericsson over patent royalties related to wireless communications. BlackBerry used to be pretty litigious: It even took on celebrity Ryan Seacrest over its keyboard! But these days it is more focused on trying to convince smartphone buyers that its technology is cool again. Or at least relevant.

    Whether or not any sort of BlackBerry-Samsung deal actually happens, the development highlights next wave of innovation (and litigation) in mobile technology: one centered on access control methods and containing corporate breachesin an increasingly mobile world.


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