Industry News Desk
Apple, Intel, and Others to Bid for Nortel Patents
Auction Delayed a Week Because of "Significant Interest"
By: Maureen O'Gara
Jun. 21, 2011 12:47 AM
Nortel Networks last Thursday delayed the auction of its precious portfolio of 6,000-odd patents and patent applications a week from Monday June 20 to Monday June 27. It said it was because of "the significant level of interest" in the thing.
And now it appears that, according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Intel and Ericsson and RPX are going to try to wrest the prize away from Google.
Google's so-called stalking horse bid is for $900 million and it's going to have to up the ante.
The Journal said the week's delay would let companies other than Google get cleared by the Justice Department, which frets that the patents could be used to stifle competition or extract high-tech ransom demands.
Ericsson and RPX, one of those outfits that buys patents and re-licenses them to other companies for defensive purposes, have reportedly been cleared as part of one or more consortia, the Journal heard. Apple and Intel were accepted as separate qualified bidders, it said.
RIM is interested but it's unclear if it'll take part or is represented by a consortium.
The portfolio covers widely used or needed widgetry like LTE, the 4G mobile data technology, data and optical networking, wireless video, Wi-Fi, voice, Internet search, social networking and semiconductors.
Some experts figure the patents will fetch several billion dollars, probably more than any other portfolio ever has. More conservative estimates put the figure at $1.5 billion.
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