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Reuters reports that Nortel Networks, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and is selling off all of its assets, is soliciting bidders for its extensive patent portfolio, and Apple is rumored to be one of the major players looking to acquire the rights as it seeks to beef up its arsenal in the increasingly-litigious mobile space.
Sources expect the sale to draw wireless telecom newcomers Apple and Google, which want to build up patent war chests as they fight incumbents such as Nokia, which want to protect their patent positions, in the courts.

"There has been one round of bidding on those patents, this has been completed," said one source, who declined to be identified because the process is private. "And what Nortel has done is divide the patents up into different lots covering different kinds of technologies."
According to the report, Nortel owns over 4,000 patents estimated to be worth over $1 billion, although Apple would almost certainly not be interested in acquiring all of Nortel's intellectual property assets and would instead focus on only the "buckets" of patents that most directly apply to its mobile products and technologies.
The patents likely to draw the most attention relate to third- and fourth-generation wireless technology such as Long Term Evolution, with device-makers such as Research In Motion, Motorola, and Apple seen as likely bidders.

"It is certainly a very significant stockpile of potent weaponry, and whoever lays their hands on it is going to gain significant advantage," said Alexander Poltorak, chief executive of General Patent Corp, which advises companies on intellectual property strategy and valuation but is not advising anyone involved in the Nortel patent auction.
One research firm has estimated that there are 105 patent families deemed essential to deployment of LTE (4G) technology, with Nokia controlling 57 of those families. Ericsson is said to control 14 families, while Nortel, Qualcomm, and Sony are each reported to control about seven families.

The mobile space currently involves a convoluted network of patent lawsuits in which companies are seeking to gain the upper hand over their rivals in the competitive market. Apple, which has been the most-sued technology company over the past several years, is currently suing or being sued by a number of companies, including Nokia, Motorola, HTC, and Kodak.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Bidding to Purchase Nortel Patent Assets
 

Caliber26

macrumors 68020
Sep 25, 2009
2,155
2,583
Orlando, FL
Eww. I hope not. We use Nortel phone systems at my office and they are the biggest pieces of crap, ever. I cannot mix Apple and Nortel in my mind. Seems like a yucky match up. I sure as hell hope Nortel has something truly amazing if Apple's gonna go after it.
 
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cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
21,849
25,342
California
Eww. I hope not. We use Nortel phone systems at my office and they are the biggest pieces of crap, ever. I cannot mix Apple and Nortel in my mind. Seems like a yucky match up. I sure as hell hope Nortel has something truly amazing if Apple's gonna go after it.

Way to miss the point.
 
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kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,181
115
Eww. I hope not. We use Nortel phone systems at my office and they are the biggest pieces of crap, ever. I cannot mix Apple and Nortel in my mind. Seems like a yucky match up. I sure as hell hope Nortel has something truly amazing if Apple's gonna go after it.

A patent is hardly the same thing as the end product in terms of sleek, usability etc.
 
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HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
6,001
2,010
Western US
I don't think you ought to be able to buy patents just to use them against other companies in lawsuits. A patent should come organically from within the organization. I say if your company fails, the patents go down with it , but they remain stored so no one can re-patent the same thing.
 
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SockRolid

macrumors 68000
Jan 5, 2010
1,560
118
Almost Rock Solid
Reminds me of a Beach Boys' song

I don't think you ought to be able to buy patents just to use them against other companies in lawsuits. A patent should come organically from within the organization. I say if your company fails, the patents go down with it , but they remain stored so no one can re-patent the same thing.

"Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong..."
 
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nwcs

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2009
2,062
2,904
Tennessee
I don't think you ought to be able to buy patents just to use them against other companies in lawsuits. A patent should come organically from within the organization. I say if your company fails, the patents go down with it , but they remain stored so no one can re-patent the same thing.

That's silly. It's an asset just like anything else a company has and should be able to be bought and sold like many things far less tangible are.
 
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WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,638
1,688
I don't think you ought to be able to buy patents just to use them against other companies in lawsuits. A patent should come organically from within the organization. I say if your company fails, the patents go down with it , but they remain stored so no one can re-patent the same thing.

Patents aren't just designed to serve as ammunition for suing other companies. Their primary purpose is to encourage innovation by rewarding people for their inventions by providing them with a period of exclusivity for taking advantage of the invention. (Which yes, sometimes requires lawsuits when those patents are believed to have been infringed.)

If patents couldn't be bought and sold, you'd have a whole lot of intellectual property going to waste and a whole lot more inventors and small companies whose ideas would languish for lack of resources/ability to bring their products to market as potential partners/acquirers see little benefit in working with them without IP protection to make it worth their while.
 
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Full of Win

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2007
2,615
1
Ask Apple
Good for them. More things to compel cross licensing agreements.


I don't think you ought to be able to buy patents just to use them against other companies in lawsuits. A patent should come organically from within the organization. I say if your company fails, the patents go down with it , but they remain stored so no one can re-patent the same thing.

I think the point is to use them to prevent lawsuits. Also, patents = assets, and Nortel borrowed against them. If you were a stock holder, bond holder or creditor, would you not want them sold and a fractional return of money? Look at it this way, who paid for the resources to make the patent? Stock holders, bond holders and creditors. Who should be able to reap the benefit of the patents, should the company fail? Yep, Stock holders, bond holders and creditors. To me its cold and may I say immature to not want to compensate those who paid for the patent in the first place.
 
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davidgrimm

macrumors regular
Nov 29, 2006
196
0
North Texas
They want patents to fight off Nokia? Nokia's phones are stuck in the 90's. I have one and it is difficult to use. Why would any phone company like Apple or Google be worried about Nokia???
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
Why would any phone company like Apple or Google be worried about Nokia???

In case you missed it, Nokia sued Apple for not paying GSM and WiFi license fees.

Since Apple didn't spend billions of dollars and spend years actually developing worldwide radio networks, this way they can buy some patents for less than the original R&D cost, and get some ammunition to fight back.

(Reminds me a bit of people who buy titles and become "royalty" overnight.)
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,604
5,567
Canada
They want patents to fight off Nokia? Nokia's phones are stuck in the 90's. I have one and it is difficult to use. Why would any phone company like Apple or Google be worried about Nokia???

Nokia do a lot more than phones. They build infrastructure.
 
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fishmoose

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2008
1,752
194
Sweden
In case you missed it, Nokia sued Apple for not paying GSM and WiFi license fees.

Since Apple didn't spend billions of dollars and spend years actually developing worldwide radio networks, this way they can buy some patents for less than the original R&D cost, and get some ammunition to fight back.

(Reminds me a bit of people who buy titles and become "royalty" overnight.)

And Nokia seems to have missed that taking out fees for such a technology as GSM is anti-competitive if not down right silly.
 
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nsayer

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2003
1,071
547
Silicon Valley
Eww. I hope not. We use Nortel phone systems at my office and they are the biggest pieces of crap, ever. I cannot mix Apple and Nortel in my mind. Seems like a yucky match up. I sure as hell hope Nortel has something truly amazing if Apple's gonna go after it.

Whoosh.
 
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Bytor65

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2010
830
113
Canada
No thanks to Harper... Blackberry wanted to bid but Nortel refused.

http://www.blackberrycool.com/2009/07/21/rim-barred-from-bidding-on-nortel-assets/

As an Ex-Nortel employee, I can assure you, you have this completely wrong.

That was RIMs spin. The real Truth is Rim walked away from the deal over common bankruptcy sell off provisions, that all other bidding parties accepted, but RIM would not.

I wouldn't be surprised if RIM is bidding on these patents as well, but I hope Apple gets them.
 
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smithrh

macrumors 68030
Feb 28, 2009
2,539
1,216
Nokia do a lot more than phones. They build infrastructure.

No, they don't - at least not any more.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) does, you may be thinking about them.

NSN is a joint venture of Nokia and Siemens.
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,604
5,567
Canada
No, they don't - at least not any more.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) does, you may be thinking about them.

NSN is a joint venture of Nokia and Siemens.

Yes, that is who I am thinking of. Still, its Nokia.. ( in partnership )..
 
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snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
88
An Island in the Salish Sea
I don't think you ought to be able to buy patents just to use them against other companies in lawsuits. A patent should come organically from within the organization. I say if your company fails, the patents go down with it , but they remain stored so no one can re-patent the same thing.

Ahhh... but then you wouldn't have the lightbulb, since Edison didn't "invent" the lightbulb. He bought the patents off of a couple of fellows in Toronto and was able to improve on their invention to make it commercially viable.
 
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