Google gets approval for $900-million bid for Nortel patents

May 3rd, 2011 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, May 3 (IANS) Google Monday got the approval for its $900-million bid to buy about 6,000 patents and patent applications from failed Canadian telecom giant Nortel.

Estimated to be worth over $1 billion, Nortel’s patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking.

Canadian and US bankruptcy courts Monday set June 20 as the auction date, with Google starting the bidding process with its $900-million bid. Other bidders can submit their offers by June 13.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has already expressed its desire to acquire the patent portfolio elated to cutting-edge, next-generation wire technology.

RIM, which was shut out of the bidding process for Nortel’s wireless business in 2009, doesn’t want Google to get its hands on these patents and patent applications.

Since Nortel-patented technology is used in RIM’s BlackBerry, Apple’s iPhone and Google Android smart phones, the buyer of these patents will get the exclusive rights to license this technology to secure royalties and market influence.

The 129-year-old Nortel received bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada in January 2009 after its accumulated problems.

After this, it has sold its various divisions under court supervision to raise over $3 billion to pay its debtors.

Now, the huge inventory of its 6,000 patents is its last asset to go on the auction block under court supervision.

After the winning bid, the bankruptcy courts in the US and Canada will approve the sale.

Google is seeking Nortel patents as the Internet search engine giant is expanding into other areas, including telecom, as handsets running on its Android operating system are fast snatching market from Apple, RIM, Nokia and Microsoft.

Google is mounting the bid under the name of its wholly owned subsidiary Ranger Inc.

In a statement Monday, Nortel said it has “obtained orders from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Toronto) approving the ’stalking horse’ asset sale agreement with Ranger Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Google Inc., for the sale of all of Nortel’s remaining patents and patent applications for a cash purchase price of US$900 million.”

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