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

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.

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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

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15 comments
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  • sounds like protection

    Looks like google decided to protect itself against all the patent trolls
    tombalablomba
    • RE: Google spends $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

      @tombalablomba Google can protect themselves. but how about smaller players who want to enter the market?

      Patent reforms is the only solution here.
      tatiGmail
      • Yes, the patent situation is very sad. Google might also one day start

        abusing the patent system, and this does not help other small players. Google does have to recoup their investment . . . .
        DonnieBoy
    • RE: Google spends $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

      @tombalablomba

      Patent trolls are unlimited and are often shell companies. That way they cannot be countersued. The patent system needs some serious reform. Patent trolls are a very, very serious problem in the USA.
      DonRupertBitByte
      • Perhaps patent office liability

        It's the USPTO that takes the fee and says that this patent is REALLY an invention that is not obvious and has novel technical characteristics.
        Shouldn't they be liable for the costs when their claim turns out to be false? They were, after-all paid for their professional service.
        guihombre
  • You can bet that they will start filing counter claims against people as

    soon as they can sort out all of the patents that they have. They also should have bought all of the Unix patents from Novel.
    DonnieBoy
  • RE: Google spends $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

    Ooops. bye bye google.
    james347
  • RE: Google spends $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

    Perhaps Apple will muddle the score, and that would be interesting.
    Ram U
  • Making a bid ...

    Means nothing when other players are at the table. Bids are bids and buyers are buyers.
    jessiethe3rd
  • Why not go through a patent pool?

    If this is truly a defensive play, then why isn't Google utilizing one of the defensive patent pools? I'd be curious to know: http://www.applepatent.com/2011/04/google-nortel-bid-why-not-use-rpx.html
    patrick@...
  • RE: Google spends $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

    They are paying $1.6 million per patent!
    ioot@...
    • RE: Google spends $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

      @ioot@... hmmm I think you mean $150k per patent. Good luck, the lawyers always come out on top with all the money !
      dymatrix
  • RE: Google spends $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

    Lolz
    moeezikram
  • i am sooo sick of old patents for crap thats not even used anymore

    Why do we continue down this road.
    Been_Done_Before
    • RE: Google spends $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

      @Been_Done_Before:
      Patents on technology relating to 4G, optical networking, general "wireless", and large scale telephony, and special-purpose chips which support such networks might be describing GENUINE, NON-OBVIOUS, and new INVENTIONS.

      From the article, we don't know what inventions they attempt to protect. A detailed reading and review is needed.

      It is probably both defensive and offensive: As we have learned (thanks, ZDNet!) Google will be rolling out their Gigabit-to-the-Home IP network service in Kansas City. Many of these patents could be applicable, and many others might apply to a subsequent "cover the nation-with-wireless" expansion out from urban areas.

      Defensively, they could be used to force some level of cooperation from competitng incumbent carriers -- the monopoly-power "RBOCs", such as AT&T; and also the big Cable Cos, such as Cox.
      Rick S._z