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Apple, Google, others rumored to be bidding for Nortel's 4G patents

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Apple, Google, Nokia and Research in Motion are all said to be bidding on valuable 4G wireless patents from bankrupt Canadian telecom giant Nortel Networks.

Citing anonymous sources, John Paczkowski of Digital Daily reported Monday that the four companies are competing to buy 4G wireless technologies from Nortel. The company owns patents related to Long-Term Evolution and Service Architecture Evolution.

One source said that the winner of Nortel's patents would gain "a hell of an advantage" in the smartphone race. Phone makers are currently engaged in a plethora of lawsuits, and Apple and Nokia in particular find themselves in a complex legal battle that is expected to take years.

Last week, Reuters reported on Nortel's patent sales, and noted that sources said they "expect" Apple and Google to bid on the wireless technology. Monday's latest report, however, goes a step further to claim that the two tech giants have gone as far as to bid.

Nortel has reportedly completed one round of bidding on the patents, and has separated the inventions into different lots defined by the type of technology. The total collection of patents cover a number of wide-ranging technologies, including wireless handsets, wireless network infrastructure, optical and data networking, Internet, Internet advertising and more.

Final bids for Nortel's patents are due in a matter of weeks, but none of the four major handset makers rumored to be in the running have commented on the matter.

The patent-collecting arms race in the wireless industry has led to a number of lawsuits between all of the major players in the market. In addition to Nokia, Apple is currently engaged in legal battles with Motorola and HTC, two lawsuits that are seen primarily as an indirect attack on the Google Android mobile operating system.

A recent report indicated that Apple has been forced to "lawyer up" as it is the most-sued tech company in the world. As a result, the Cupertino, Calif., company has allegedly hired some of the nation's top patent lawyers as outside counsel.
post #2 of 30
Good luck out-bidding Apple, with their war chest...
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Good luck out-bidding Apple, with their war chest...

Interestingly Qualcomm is not in the scene
post #4 of 30
Gosh what a surprise Google wanting something Apple wants.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



One source said that the winner of Nortel's patents would gain "a hell of an advantage" in the smartphone race. Phone makers are currently engaged in a plethora of lawsuits, and Apple and Nokia in particular find themselves in a complex legal battle that is expected to take years.

.

I hope that the feds step in and prevent any one of them from gaining such an advantage. We need competition among carriers if we are to see prices fall for consumers. If a big handset maker has an exclusive, then everyone else is at a huge disadvantage. Especially consumers.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Good luck out-bidding Apple, with their war chest...

This. Although even when the competition seems to hold useful or otherwise advantageous patents that enable them to do great things, they don't. It seems whatever patents exist or are being contested at any given time, Apple is usually the one to churn out great products an redefine markets.

I've jokingly said before that the competition should simply hand over their patents to Apple, who will actually do something impressive with them. An unlikely proposition that sounds absurd, obviously, but you get the basic idea.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by enohpI View Post

I hope that the feds step in and prevent any one of them from gaining such an advantage. We need competition among carriers if we are to see prices fall for consumers. If a big handset maker has an exclusive, then everyone else is at a huge disadvantage. Especially consumers.

I have to say that this idea is total paranoid nonsense.

Just superficially ... an "advantage" is not necessarily an unfair advantage and the lack of anyone having said advantage, does not equate to "competition."
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

An unlikely proposition that sounds absurd, obviously, but you get the basic idea.

Yes, I get the basic idea. You're a huge Apple fanboy. It's sort of like the old Saturday Night Live skits where the guy would say, "If it's not Scottish, it's crap!" Only you're oblivious to the punchline.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by samban View Post

Interestingly Qualcomm is not in the scene


qualcomm and nokia already control more than 50% of all wireless tech patents and get paid for them
post #10 of 30
Does this mean the one who is the winner of bidding can expel other competitiors outside the 4G LTE handset market?
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkwlee View Post

Does this mean the one who is the winner of bidding can expel other competitiors outside the 4G LTE handset market?


no

it's like blu ray, hundreds of patents needed to sell a product.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Yes, I get the basic idea. You're a huge Apple fanboy. It's sort of like the old Saturday Night Live skits where the guy would say, "If it's not Scottish, it's crap!" Only you're oblivious to the punchline.

What a great place AI would be if people got a one week suspension from the forum every time they used the word fanboy (fanboi)... and three strikes you're out.
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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Good luck out-bidding Apple, with their war chest...

I believe that someone once commented they had no idea why Apple maintained so much cash...

Because everyone they compete with maintains so much cash and this kind of strategic purchase (IP, spectrum, capex, etc) could cost huge amounts of money.

Buying a strategic advantage for the next generation is worth billions. If nothing else, a significant victory here means quick(er) settlements in all the other IP battles and outcomes more likely in favor for Apple.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

I believe that someone once commented they had no idea why Apple maintained so much cash...

Because everyone they compete with maintains so much cash and this kind of strategic purchase (IP, spectrum, capex, etc) could cost huge amounts of money.

Buying a strategic advantage for the next generation is worth billions. If nothing else, a significant victory here means quick(er) settlements in all the other IP battles and outcomes more likely in favor for Apple.

It's like they're playing a video game, obtaining another weapon to kill the monsters.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

What a great place AI would be if people got a one week suspension from the forum every time they used the word fanboy (fanboi)... and three strikes you're out.

Couldn't agree more! About the only statement more stupid and more overused than 'Apple fanboy' is 'I'm just saying', after they just said what they said they said.

This site is 'AI', do the trolls know what this means? It's a site DEDICATED to Apple the company and to Apple products. I would think most people visiting this site are probably Apple fans ...

... I'm just saying
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

What a great place AI would be if people got a one week suspension from the forum every time they used the word fanboy (fanboi)... and three strikes you're out.

Agreed. Though trying to get some people to expand their limited vocabulary beyond hackneyed buzz words is like trying to teach sign language to a blind man.
post #17 of 30
Buy it all, and make it open source.
That would be te safest protection against being sued.
post #18 of 30
Maybe this will drive the price of the shares that I bought for pennies as a lottery ticket back up to their last-century levels.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

Agreed. Though trying to get some people to expand their limited vocabulary beyond hackneyed buzz words is like trying to teach sign language to a blind man.

What do we call those on here who wear such insanely thick rose-colored glasses / hopelessly lost in SJ's distortion field- that all logic, reason and reality is pushed out the door?
'Fanboi' is short and sums it all up nicely. There are definitely some of them here.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Yes, I get the basic idea. You're a huge Apple fanboy. It's sort of like the old Saturday Night Live skits where the guy would say, "If it's not Scottish, it's crap!"

except your fanboy comments ring even more hollow.

For how many years did we have "smart phones" but they didn't enter the mainstream until Apple - a complete newcomer - blew away over a decade of previous offerings and prior art with their very first entry? Remember, the first iPhone didn't have the app store and it was still a runaway success.

For how many years were tablets Bill Gates personal pet project, and yet again until Apple released the iPad, there was essentially ZERO interest in the tablet space?

You can claim he's just a fanboy until you are blue in the face but the facts are Apple produces. They innovate. They move the line forward.

There is a reason they are second in market cap to only Exxon, having surpassed all other tech companies. There is a reason they will pass MS in revenue, despite vastly different cost models (hint: Apple doesn't have MS's non-durable goods profit margin advantage).

Apple is fantastically successful because they are significantly outperforming their competitors. Not because of fanboys

As soon as Apple stops producing products I care about (like in the suck-tastic 90's) I will stop being a fan. But I don't see that happening any time soon.
post #21 of 30
Apple will aggressively go after these patents - at almost any cost.
They don't have a choice. This is the market they need to dominate as their desktop platform is desperately lacking.

So far the 'Back to the Mac' campaign has been to discontinue support for server hardware/software.
Not exactly what people were expecting.
With still no mid-range / reasonably priced tower, non-narcissistic iMac - Apple is looking 'All in' with mobile computing.

Apple had the cash reserved for just this type of occasion.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

What do we call those on here who wear such insanely thick rose-colored glasses / hopelessly lost in SJ's distortion field- that all logic, reason and reality is pushed out the door?
'Fanboi' is short and sums it all up nicely. There are definitely some of them here.

You can call them whatever you want over on the Android, BB, or WP7 forums. Around here you don't call them anything. Fanboy/fanboi is always used as a derogatory term and should be left at the door.

By the way... what the hell is it with these Canadian tech companies that can't maintain the curve... Mitel, Nortel, JDS... and if BB doesn't get its act together then they may be joining the others.
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post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

What do we call those on here who wear such insanely thick rose-colored glasses / hopelessly lost in SJ's distortion field- that all logic, reason and reality is pushed out the door?
'Fanboi' is short and sums it all up nicely. There are definitely some of them here.

Yes, but there are as many or more who are Apple denyers that don't want to give Apple ANY credit for their success and who blindly hide behind terms such as fanboy.

They are the anti-fanboys that have their own reality distortion fields that far surpass anything SJ is capable of producing
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Good luck out-bidding Apple, with their war chest...

Oh. You mean like AdMob.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by os2baba View Post

Oh. You mean like AdMob.

My slant on that... Google over-paid for AdMob just to keep it out of Apple's hands. Apple, on the other hand, realized that for that type of money they could get something cheaper and re-jig it to their specs.

A fool and his money... etc.
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post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I have to say that this idea is total paranoid nonsense.

Just superficially ... an "advantage" is not necessarily an unfair advantage and the lack of anyone having said advantage, does not equate to "competition."


Errr.......the quote was "one hell of an advantage". If you think that Google having "one hell of an advantage" over the carriers is not bad news for consumers, then I can go into details as to why that might be so.
post #27 of 30
The way I see it, if other companies get this patent portfolio, it'll be a trainwreck for the industry. These are companies that waited till they had pretty much nothing left to lose to go into a last ditch effort to stop Apple's sales growth at all costs by suing. Not only that but suing years after the iPhone came out. It was as if to say, "We've got our eye on you, but you won't go very far Apple. Just go back to making your overpriced niche computers and we'll go back to selling crappy smartphones that nobody really likes but they put up with them anyway cause there's nothing better."

Then the sad reality struck that something better had shown up to the party and the competition had really no viable means to counter it other than to make tons of bad me-too products. Once they did that they then flooded the market with these iPhone impostors by having the carriers do BOGOs and huge rebate deals. It's like the PC market where Dell and HP really can't compete in the high-end with Apple so they flood the market with low-end garbage to take market share but end up making no money. Its a win-lose for them and Apple laughs all the way to the bank.

On the other hand, if Apple gets this patent portfolio, chances are they will just set it on a little podium for all to see. When the competition decides to sue, Apple can just simply point to the podium and then quietly wag their finger at them as they sulk away in disappointment. I don't see Apple actively suing any other handset makers with these patents. I think, for them, it'll be a means of staving off future attacks. I think Apple is content taking money from the competition in the form of sales of a better product rather than wasting time and money in court.

Samsung Galaxy series: Faster on a benchmark, not in your hand.

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Samsung Galaxy series: Faster on a benchmark, not in your hand.

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post #28 of 30
Former Nortel employee... That's a really nice patent collection.

Glad to see Apple's got a bit of cash.
post #29 of 30
The only reason I can see for Apple (and Google for that matter) to be interested in this technology it to bypass the telcos, cablecos, and sattelitecos in the long-term effort to bypass the pipes leading into the home altogether. That will take time, but a branded Apple TV (think large screen, with integrated everything), that relies on 4LTE wireless technology only. Can't figure out who controls the connection to the backbone, but maybe someone has already thought that out, as in Apple ISP (Apple Core?) or something similar. The far distant future will probably be Satellite-based, but much different that current technology. Wires and wireless as we know it will be obsolete sooner than we can imagine. Then we get to thumb our nose at the media moguls who control it all, and who would be forced to deal with Apple once and for all.
post #30 of 30
With the June 20th bidding fast approaching, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the DoJ has serious concerns if Apple engages in it. Seems they consider Apple a little too aggressive with patents, with one commenter equating Nortel's collection with a "nuclear arsenal", dangerous in Apple's control. The article seems to imply that the DoJ might challenge if they were to buy the 6,000 patent pool.

http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/03/goo...ents/#comments

and here:
http://www.electronista.com/articles....skips.google/
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