Google Buys Nortel's Patents for $900 Million

Nortel said that it has agreed to transfer its remaining 6000 patents to Google for $900 million in cash. According to the company, the patents cover "wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patent portfolios. The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking."

Google's announcement did not reflect the excitement at Nortel, but indicated that it was a required purchase to protect its innovations. From the blog post:

"The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits. It's for these reasons that Google has long argued in favor of real patent reform, which we believe will benefit users and the U.S. economy as a whole."


"So after a lot of thought, we’ve decided to bid for Nortel’s patent portfolio in the company’s bankruptcy auction."

It clearly wasn't something Google was eager to do from the very beginning, but given its disadvantage of being a relatively young company that is exposed to lawsuits and potentially bogus lawsuits, a patent portfolio is a requirement. I doubt this was the last patent purchase at Google.

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  • Now with all these network tech patents, Google cannot be touched by others. In fact, they even have the power to reverse suit others who even gets close.
  • Next on the news: Google sues Apple/Nokia/Motorola/HTC for patent infringement (I bet that I'm writing it wrong but, hey, you get the picture).

    I also agree that the patent system is flawed. Every other week we see someone suing someone else because of those dubious patents that are there just for suing others.

    Let's all apply for a patent on the alphabet..
  • Sure... it only cost Canadian tax payers about a trillion dollars in various subsidies over the years to develop these things... let's sell them for a fraction of that worth.