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Apple, Intel locked in as bidders for Nortel patents

updated 03:10 pm EDT, Fri June 17, 2011

Apple and Intel cleared to bid on Nortel

Both Apple and Intel have been cleared to bid in Nortel's vital wireless patent auction, contacts slipped out on Friday. After investigations, both have been allowed to go ahead. Ericsson had also been greenlit, according to the Wall Street Journal, and was being accompanied by RPX, a proxy company that buys patents to avoid them being used against its clients.

Google had already been approved and is considered the baseline at $900 million. It serves as a "stalking horse" meant to deter patent trolls as well as low bids from companies that might buy in solely to sue Android developers, such as Microsoft.

RIM is unusually still an unknown quantity in the auction despite being a fellow Canadian company. A calamitous quarterly result could discourage action given the price for a company already warning of sinking profits.

Apple might have a similar interest to Microsoft in using the patents against Android developers like HTC. The acquisition could still be used as a defensive measure and work as a bargaining chip in disputes with Motorola, Samsung, and others.

Intel could use the patents for similar reasons but may be mostly interested in expanding the options for the wireless unit it acquired when it bought Infineon. Most of the patents focus on LTE 4G, Wi-Fi, and other wireless technology that Intel would want to use in future products.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I sense a good foundation for Apple 4G products.

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    always negative about Apple

    Apple is competing on these patents to keeps trolls from constantly suing them. Once Apple gets these patents, they have their choice of being nice guys and allowing others to use them free of charge or selecting to charge for some of them. Either way, it keeps all the trolls away. Apple doesn't have to use these against Android developers because most of them are basic communication patents, something that everyone should be able to use.

    I agree with the patent system when it protects truly new ideas but not when patents cover everyday operations.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Should be interesting

    Well if anyone has money - Apple does.

    I wonder how high this auction is going to go? Is it possible its going to be bid significantly?

    I mean if this stuff goes for 2 billion - that's way overvalued. But how can Google afford not to win?

    Whomever wins, the losers will claim they cleverly increased the acquisition costs - duh, that's the nature of an auction - but I don't buy it, they are in the bidding, because they want to win.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: always negative...

    >>>Apple is competing on these patents to keeps trolls from constantly suing them.

    Oh please. You must really be drinking the Cupertino Kool-Aid if you truly believe that.

    Apple's want's these patents to:

    A) Make Money
    B) Suppress competition.

    You can bet the farm that Apple intends to use these patents offensively - like all the other patents they hold. Don't kid yourself.


    - Sent from my Android Device.

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