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Google gets go-ahead for $900m bid on Nortel phone patents

updated 03:40 pm EDT, Mon May 2, 2011

Google cleared for shadow bid on Nortel patents

Nortel on Monday said it had been given approval for its stalking horse bid on the bankrupt company's mobile patents. The clearance would set the minimum bid at $900 million. Bids from other companies were due on June 13 with the auction to take place June 20.

Google hasn't explicitly planned to win the auction itself or even to keep the price high on Nortel's behalf, like most stalking horse bids. It instead hoped to discourage easy attacks on Android or its hardware partners from companies that could afford to make a relatively cheap bid.

Patent trolls, or companies that have no meaningful income other than patent lawsuits, have been cited as one factor. Larger companies would be more difficult to stop, but the high bidding price could discourage companies like Apple and Microsoft, which have been using patent lawsuits against HTC, Barnes & Noble, and others as proxy attacks on Android.

Nortel's collection of patents is unusually powerful and includes both common 3G technology as well as LTE-based 4G.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    they should actually think about winning them

    they get a chance to redo their mistakes with Sun and Palm, and instead they try to be clever.

    Just win the patents, Google.

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Should buy the patents

    I think Apple should have bought Palm ... they had a pretty interesting patent portfolio. I hope they move on this one. Nortel is very old-school in telecom and networking; Apple could end up with a treasure-chest of patents in there.

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