Nortel's wireless patents awarded to the likes of RIM, Apple and Microsoft for $4.5 billion, Google weeps

Nortel's wireless patents awarded to the likes of RIM, Apple and Microsoft for $4.5 billion, Google weeps
Six companies won the bid for the bankrupt Nortel's wireless patents, among which are RIM, Apple and Microsoft. Google was hoping to get the lion's share of patents, so it can fend off lawsuits about Android easier, but it didn't go that way. Actually, the whole story deserves a movie in itself.

Google got a headstart, under the name of its subsidiary Ranger Inc., for the stalking-horse bid (the minimum) of $900 million. Some more bidders emerged, like Intel, and another one, under the name of Rockstar Bidco LP, which, although hilarious as a name in itself, didn't make clear who is behind the endeavor. People thought it could be Intellectual Ventures, or some of the other patent troll companies out there.

Only after the legal community saw that the Rockstar Bidco LP consortium name has replaced Ranger Inc. in the filings Thursday, it became clear that the companies behind it have won Nortel's patents. The other three names forming Rockstar Bidco LP turned out to be the wireless equipment giant Ericsson, who also bought Nortel's physical assets, as well as EMC and Sony.

Now we don't know how exactly Google was played, but its legal woes with Android seemingly won't be abated any time soon. RIM disclosed it paid $770 million for its part of the patent deal, while Ericsson paid $340 million, which means the rest (most likely Apple and Microsoft), have gotten the lion's share of patents. Patent lawyers of the world and Nortel's creditors, rejoice.

via MoCoNews



1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Google doesn't seem to be 'getting' it about patent acquisitions.... There are other competitors out there who are actively looking at patents as both an offensive and a defensive asset. If you are thin in your own patent portfolio, you need to bulk up on your acquisition efforts. Apple and MS seem to understand patent strategy, but not yet for Google.

3. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I think they got it, they were first in line to buy the portfolio but a consortium jumped in and bought it for 5x what google offered. Too pricey even for google?Either way, smart move for MS and the others. MS especially since it sounds as if these patents will strengthen thier demand of royalties for every Android phone sold...

2. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

sure google have something planned to protect themselves...if this was the only way am sure they would have bidded even more

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.