Google bids $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

Summary:Nortel said that it is selling all of its remaining patents and applications for $900 million to Google, which gets wireless, 4G and telecom intellectual property.

Nortel said that it plans to sell all of its remaining patents and applications for $900 million to Google unless a better bid emerges.

With the move, Google would get about 6,000 patents covering wired, wireless and digital communications technologies. The big question is what will Google do with all of these patents. The short answer is that some of these patents will be used for Android---and its defense from the likes of Oracle.

In a blog post, Google said:

One of a company’s best defenses against this kind of litigation is (ironically) to have a formidable patent portfolio, as this helps maintain your freedom to develop new products and services. Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories.

Google could get a vast portfolio of patents from Nortel, which has been dismantled in bankruptcy as units get sold off. Google would get patents for wireless, 4G, data networking, optical, voice, semiconductors and other telecom areas. In a statement, Nortel said:

The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking.

Nortel said there were multiple rounds of bidding from several parties. Google and Nortel have entered a so-called "stalking horse asset sale," which allows other qualified bidders to top the search giant's bid.

Related:

Topics: Telcos, Google, Legal, Networking

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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