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EE Times-India > EDA/IP

Google bids over Rs.4,000 crore for Nortel patents

Posted: 08 Apr 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Google's patent bid  Nortel's patent portfolio  patent reform  Nortel bankruptcy 

Nortel Networks Corp. has accepted a Rs.4,093.28 crore ($900 million) "stalking horse" auction bid from Google Inc. for the bankrupt telecommunications equipment vendor's 6,000 patents and patent applications.

The agreement includes patents and patent applications spanning wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, Internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patent portfolios, Nortel said.

In a blog posting, Google said that if its bid is successful it hopes that the acquisition of Nortel's patent portfolio would discourage others from suing Google. The company added it also hopes it would help Google, its partners and the open source community continue to innovate.

Google said it has long argued for meaningful reform of the U.S. patent system to curtail an explosion in patent litigation. The company has said that, in the absence of meaningful reform, it believes the acquisition of Nortel's patent portfolio is the best long-term solution for Google, its users and partners.

The U.S. Congress continues to work towards patent reform. Last week, competing interests squared off in a hearing over details of a House of Representatives version of a patent reform bill. The Senate passed its own version of patent reform bill (S.23) in a 95-to-5 vote on March 8.

Nortel, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009, has already sold off much of its assets. The company's bankruptcy period was extended to run through June.

"This is an unprecedented opportunity to acquire one of the most extensive and compelling patent portfolios to ever come on the market," said George Riedel, Nortel's chief strategy officer and president of business units, in a statement. "We look forward to what we hope will be a robust auction, following the requisite court approvals, currently expected to be held in June 2011."

Nortel said it would file the stalking horse asset sale agreement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware along with a motion seeking the establishment of bidding procedures for an auction that allows other qualified bidders to submit higher or otherwise better offers, as required under U.S. code. A similar motion for the approval of the bidding procedures will be filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Nortel said. Following completion of the bidding process, final approval of the U.S. and Canadian courts will be required, Nortel said.

- Dylan McGrath
  EE Times

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