Mobile Platforms, Patents, and Linux in Context

Keith Bergelt (Open Invention Network)
Products & Services Seacliff D

Mobile Linux platforms have made incredible inroads into the emerging smartphone market. The market leading position that Apple developed and which seemed insurmountable just 18 months ago has now been eclipsed by the Android platform, alone. Further, the extension of these Linux-based operating systems into higher value computing devices is, in parallel, threatening to transform the nature of personal computing.

When observing the patent litigation that has developed in and around Android it is important to distinguish between Linux and Android. Specifically, every Android suit is not necessarily placing Linux at patent risk. Rather, it is the universe of technologies and applications that work on or adjacent to the Linux operating system and combine to enable Android that are often the target of offensive patent actions.

To ensure these offensive patent actions do not threaten the onward viability of the broader Android platform through levying an undue royalty burden or tax on the platform, the US Department of Justice intervened to restrict Microsoft’s ownership of any of the Novell patents. Similarly, the US Department of Justice is now investigating the anti-competitive aspects of the proposed Nortel patent acquisition with an eye toward imposing a similar constraint on Microsoft and its ability to use Nortel patents for offensive purposes.

In the meantime, the recently announced Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility and its significant patent portfolio and Google’s earlier reported purchase of 1,000 patents from IBM evidences a resolve on the part of Google to aggressively enable and defend the Android platform.

This session is sponsored by Open Invention Network

Photo of Keith Bergelt

Keith Bergelt

Open Invention Network

Keith Bergelt is the chief executive officer of Open Invention Network (OIN), the collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux. In this capacity he is directly responsible for enabling, influencing and defending the integrity of the Linux ecosystem. Central to the achievement of his goals is the acquisition and transfer of patent rights designed to permit members of the Linux ecosystem to operate free of the threat of assertion and litigation from those whose business models are antithetical to innovation and global economic growth in information technology and computing.

Prior to joining the Open Invention Network, Mr. Bergelt served as president and CEO of two Hedge Funds – Paradox Capital and IPI – formed to unlock the considerable asset value of patents, trademarks and copyrights in middle market companies. Paradox and IPI were the first Funds of their kind to offer specialty lending products supported exclusively by intellectual property. Driven by Mr. Bergelt’s creativity and entrepreneurial approach, these funds enabled the emergence of patents, trademarks and copyrights as a viable source of collateral in asset-based loans, forever reshaping the emerging IP Finance landscape.

During Mr. Bergelt’s stewardship of these IP-based lending activities, he raised more than $300 million dollars and financed portfolio companies of private equity firms including Texas Pacific Group, Kelso & Co., JH Whitney, Weston Presidio, Goode Partners, Palladium Capital and Castanea Partners, among others.

Previously, Mr. Bergelt served as a senior advisor to the technology investment division at Texas Pacific Group. He also headed business development, intellectual property and licensing for the Kelso & Company portfolio company Cambridge Display Technology in the United Kingdom. Additionally, he established and served as General Manager of the Strategic Intellectual Asset Management business unit at Motorola Corporation and served as Motorola’s director of Technology Strategy.

Mr. Bergelt was a co-founder of the Intellectual Property Advisory Practice within the Electronics and Telecommunications Industry group at SRI Consulting in Menlo Park, California.

Prior to his extensive private sector experience, Mr. Bergelt served for twelve years as a diplomat with postings at the United Nations in NY and the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan where he was involved in the negotiation of IP rights protection in Asia.

Mr. Bergelt holds an Artium Baccalaureus degree from Duke University, a Jurist Doctorate degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Theseus Institute in France. He is a frequent speaker on corporate strategy, finance and intellectual property management.

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