01 Jul, 2011

Apple and Microsoft group buys Nortel patents

The remaining patent portfolio of bankrupt Nortel has been sold for $4.5bn (£2.8bn) to a group of six companies – Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson, EMC and Research In Motion, with Google and Intel losing out.  

The sale included more than 6,000 of the telecoms firm’s patents and patent applications.

Commenting, George Riedel, Chief Strategy Officer at Nortel, said: “The size and dollar value for this transaction is unprecedented, as was the significant interest in the portfolio among major companies around the world.”

The bidding was opened in April by Google at $900m.

Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009 and has been selling assets since, raising around $3.2bn.These patents mark the last major assets to be sold.

“The Nortel patent portfolio reflects the heritage of more than 100 years of its R&D activities and includes some essential patents in telecommunications and other industries,” Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson, told the BBC.

Alfalahi added: “We believe the consortium is in the best position to utilise the patents in a manner that will be favourable to the industry [in the] long term.”


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