By John Borland, CNET News.com
Friday, December 17 2004 11:26 AM
In the streaming media business, a letter from Acacia Research usually means one thing: the threat of a patent lawsuit.
Now, the little-known but litigious company is expanding its horizons with a move that promises to substantially increase its profit potential while bringing new patent headaches to the high-tech industry at large.
On Thursday, the company agreed to buy Global Patent Holdings, an umbrella company whose various divisions, including TechSearch, have sued or struck patent licenses with Intel, Sony, Samsung and a myriad of smaller technology companies.
The deal would create a patent powerhouse which would own small pieces of dozens of different technologies, many of which are fundamental components of everyday Internet and personal technology businesses. The company said more acquisitions are likely.