Apple Inc

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) could be readying itself to target a host of patents currently held at Nokia, Blackberry maker RIM and IDCC.

This is according to analysts at Jefferies who have said that the move by Google on Motorola Mobility has significantly hurt the ability of Apple to pressure the Android ecosystem.

A note from Jefferies on Apple Inc says:

"MMI in our view had the broadest and deepest patent portfolio amongst the wireless players. We believe AAPL's large cash position gives it significant flexibility to respond with its own acquisition. We believe NOK, IDCC, and RIM's patents are potential targets."

Apple is likely to strike back in patent war.

As a countermeasure Jefferies expect Apple to closely examine the potential value of the remaining IP portfolios which are at Nokia, RIM and IDCC:

"We expect AAPL to focus on wireless patents that are truly essential and part of the standards.

"We believe AAPL is a licensee of NOK and pays significant royalties for cross-licensing. We believe NOK likely has at least 50 essential 4G patents and likely over 100 essential 3G patents.

"IDCC patent portfolio still available: GOOG opted for MMI's patent portfolio instead of IDCC's, which provides an upper-bound for the value of IDCC's patents. But due to the many cross-licensing arrangements and low royalties on some of the patents, it is difficult to gain further clarity on the value of those patents. AAPL or another player may be interested but pricing will be key.

"By our calculation RIM (RIMM, $24.56, Underperform) spent over $5B in acquiring and developing its patent portfolio. While RIM has critical security related patents and a unique NOC and Node system, we believe RIM's patent portfolio may be more difficult to value as a stand-alone asset due to its many acquisitions."

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