Nortel Patents Bought By Tech Consortium for $4.5 Billion

July 1st, 2011 at 10:20 am

Canadian telecom equipment maker Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in June of 2009. But it seems that it may still be able to make money with is veritable collection of patent licenses. The Nortel patents cache have attracted quite a number of other tech companies eager to get hold of the stash. Google offered around $900 million for it last April. But Nortel may be on the verge of giving those patent licenses to a tech consortium who offered a staggering $4.5 billion for them.

The incredible amount may have been quite a tall order for a single company to come up with $4.5 billion. May be this was the reason why the tech consortium was brought up. And mind you, it is not just any consortium. It has the likes of Apple, Research In Motion, Microsoft, EMC, Ericsson and Sony teaming up to share the $4.5 billion purchase price for Nortel’s patent portfolio. It certainly is a treasure trove of patents, which covers wireless and wireless 4G, optical, voice, data networking and semiconductors. The portfolio contains around 6,000 patent licenses which may or may not prove useful to the consortium. But needless to say, it does provide an interesting portfolio that the companies involved would surely find some use of.

In these days of patent litigation steadily becoming more common, having a portfolio of patents for a variety of technologies would prove quite handy in trying to stave off costly technology licensing disagreements from a competitor or another company. But it might not yet be a sure thing as of yet.

Due to the high interest in Nortel’s portfolio of patents, it has also gotten the attention of the Justice Department, which may warrant a review from the agency, to see whether the patent holders will have an unfair edge against its competitors. Moreso, the patent portfolio purchase still has to get the approval of the US and Canadian courts before it becomes final.


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