Nortel announces Apple, Microsoft, RIM group bid wins patent auction for $4.5B

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Canadian telecommunications equipment maker Nortel announced late Thursday that a consortium of companies, including Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research in Motion and Sony, placed the winning bid in a high-profile auction for a collection of more than 6,000 patents.



"Following a very robust auction, we are pleased at the outcome of the auction of this extensive patent portfolio" George Riedel, Nortel's Chief Strategy Officer and President of Business Units, said in a statement. "The size and dollar value for this transaction is unprecedented, as was the significant interest in the portfolio among major companies around the world."



With a final bid of $4.5 billion, the consortium beat out Google, who had established the minimum bid for the auction with its $900 million starting offer. The search giant had expressed particular interest in the group of patents because, as a younger company than some of its rivals, it has a smaller patent collection.



Reuters reports that RIM's share of the purchase is roughly $770 million, while EMC paid $340 million.



The sale, however, is subject to applicable Canadian and U.S. Court approvals, A joint hearing is expected to be held on July 11, 2011, with Nortel expecting to close the sale in the third quarter of this year. Proceeds from the sale will go to Nortel's creditors and NNL preferred shareholders.



The patent trove drew a number of interested bidders because of it hold key patents related to the long-term evolution 4G standard. RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has called Nortel's LTE patents a "national treasure." Other technologies in the collection span a wide-range of fields, such as wireless handsets, wireless network infrastructure, optical and data networking, Internet, Internet advertising.



Prior to the auction, Apple and Google underwent federal scrutiny over the their potential bids. Google received approval first to bid, while regulators were reportedly concerned over Apple's history of patent litigation. The FTC confirmed last week that Apple had been granted clearance to participate in the auction.



Nortel filed for bankruptcy in January 2009. On Thursday, the company obtained a court order extending a stay of proceedings until Dec. 14.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    And just like that, all the positive energy at Google around the initial reception to G+ just went right out the window.



    I wonder if the consortium will use these patents aggressively? I can't imagine why else they would bid $4.5B.



    Interesting times...
  • Reply 2 of 49
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,199member
    Great news!!
  • Reply 3 of 49
    macrrmacrr Posts: 488member
    In this day and age, googlesuck aside, i'd rather see a group win patents vs one company. awesome outcome.





    another aside- anyone notice itunes and mac app store are not working right now. I kind of hope it's because lion is being released !!
  • Reply 4 of 49
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    I agree, this was the best possible outcome. No single company can bully others with these patents and they've not ended up in the hands of patent trolls.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    _hawkeye__hawkeye_ Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    I wonder if the consortium will use these patents aggressively? I can't imagine why else they would bid $4.5B.



    Defense.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    cy_starkmancy_starkman Posts: 489member
    Ahh Google ye are not really one of the big boys after all.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    Samsung, HTC, Motorola,Intel and Android wantabe's around the world just saw their economics change drastically.... the cost of royalities just went up for many.... how much longer can Android be free when intellectual property has to be paid for somewhere along the way....
  • Reply 8 of 49
    irontedironted Posts: 129member
    Steve Jobs outsmarted Google!
  • Reply 9 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    And just like that, all the positive energy at Google around the initial reception to G+ just went right out the window.



    I wonder if the consortium will use these patents aggressively? I can't imagine why else they would bid $4.5B.



    Interesting times...



    Collective IP acquisitions I would think are, except in extenuating circumstances, for defensive purposes.



    My $0.02...
  • Reply 10 of 49
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,261member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post


    Collective IP acquisitions I would think are, except in extenuating circumstances, for defensive purposes.



    My $0.02...



    Defence against whom? Clearly the IP owners here will use the patents against non-IP owners, as they relate to LTE etc. The other side ( basically google and Android manufactures) are patentless.



    As I see it, for Apple, a lot of the patent threats against it are solved or paid up. Whats remaining are nuisance patents. On the other hand it has the multi-touch patent and these.



    Basically the Android side are wide open to litigation. Google and ( more likely) the manufacturers. From Apple, Oracle, MS ( as we have seen) and so on.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post


    Collective IP acquisitions I would think are, except in extenuating circumstances, for defensive purposes.



    My $0.02...



    $4.5 billion just for defense? Microsoft already had perpetual access to these patents, they didn't need to be included at all.



    The only reason for them to be there is to prevent Google from getting the patents, and the only reason to prevent Google from getting the patents is to prevent them from being able to defend themselves (or their partners).



    Microsoft already have licensing deals with Android manufactuers (HTC, Velocity Micro, Onkyo, General Dynamics).



    I'm sure they are going to push more licensing fees onto the Android manufacturers (i.e. Samsung!) to pay for the "free" Android OS.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,261member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    $4.5 billion just for defense? Microsoft already had perpetual access to these patents, they didn't need to be included at all.



    The only reason for them to be there is to prevent Google from getting the patents, and the only reason to prevent Google from getting the patents is to prevent them from being able to defend themselves (or their partners).



    Microsoft already have licensing deals with Android manufactuers (HTC, Velocity Micro, Onkyo, General Dynamics).



    I'm sure they are going to push more licensing fees onto the Android manufacturers (i.e. Samsung!) to pay for the "free" Android OS.



    except now, presumably the payments go to the consortium.
  • Reply 13 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    And just like that, all the positive energy at Google around the initial reception to G+ just went right out the window.



    I wonder if the consortium will use these patents aggressively? I can't imagine why else they would bid $4.5B.



    Interesting times...



    That high winning amount is due to individual companies in the consortium were wiling to contribute more than any single company would on their own. I imagine if they license them out, the money they'll receive will be proportionate to the holding percentage. The licensing fee and arrangement between consortium members however would be different, could be lower but payable still.
  • Reply 14 of 49
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


    Defence against whom? Clearly the IP owners here will use the patents against non-IP owners, as they relate to LTE etc. The other side ( basically google and Android manufactures) are patentless.



    Are you honestly suggesting that Motorola, Samsung et al have no patents? Motorola is one of the biggest holders of GSMA patents.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    I wonder what is the maximum amount Google bid.



    With Mango and some other updates waiting in the wing, I guess this could be the right time for manufacturers to be a bit more serious about WP7 platform?
  • Reply 16 of 49
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,228member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post


    Defense.



    Sorry, but NORTEL was a huge IP holder of LTE and much, much more.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,228member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Are you honestly suggesting that Motorola, Samsung et al have no patents? Motorola is one of the biggest holders of GSMA patents.



    Apple has cross-licensed such needs through Nokia.
  • Reply 18 of 49
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    $4.5 billion just for defense? Microsoft already had perpetual access to these patents, they didn't need to be included at all.



    The only reason for them to be there is to prevent Google from getting the patents, and the only reason to prevent Google from getting the patents is to prevent them from being able to defend themselves (or their partners).



    Microsoft already have licensing deals with Android manufactuers (HTC, Velocity Micro, Onkyo, General Dynamics).



    I'm sure they are going to push more licensing fees onto the Android manufacturers (i.e. Samsung!) to pay for the "free" Android OS.





    Linkage to the PERPETUAL access please.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post


    Ahh Google ye are not really one of the big boys after all.



    Google sells ads. If people stop clicking on ads Google goes out of business. No, they are not one of the big boys.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,139member
    Amazing news. There was a time when Google and Apple would have been together, such a shame Google turned on their old friend. Come on Apple, search and maps please.
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