Skip to main content

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.

  • milktea
    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.
    Reply
  • ricardok
    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..
    Reply
  • LORD_ORION
    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.
    Reply
  • borisof007
    If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em
    Reply
  • adiposity
    Isn't this just a bid, and they haven't even won the auction yet?
    Reply
  • Titanius
    adiposityIsn't this just a bid, and they haven't even won the auction yet?
    Nortel said that it has agreed to transfer its remaining 6000 patents to Google for $900 million in cash.
    There, reading the article answers all...
    Reply
  • Titanius
    Please disregard my above message. Apologies to adiposity, you're right:

    http://www2.nortel.com/go/news_detail.jsp?cat_id=-8055&oid=100272100&locale=en-US&lcid=-1

    Google has entered a Stalking Horse Sale Agreement with Nortel to buy the 6000 or so patents for $900 Million...stalking horse means that there will be an auction (in June 2011) and the highest bidder will win the patents.

    If Google really wants to buy these patents, they won't back down from bidding higher than whoever challenges them, they do have the money.
    Reply
  • lp231
    Once I was working on a system that was infected with a severe malware.
    The name of the malware tried to mimick Norton and it was name Nortel (not Nortel this article is talking about).
    http://www.2-spyware.com/remove-nortel-antivirus.html
    http://www.nortel.com/corporate/alert.html

    Reply
  • alidan
    LORD_ORIONSure... 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.
    actually, pattens can be simple ideas. like a screw and a screwdriver simple ideas. lets assume that 100 people can make 1 patent every month each. thats 1200 a year.

    you can patent the SHAPE of an object if it has some functionality improvements. 100 people with lets assume a 100k a year salery, comes to 10 mill a year.

    these patents may be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than they are selling them for. however the revinue that would come from suing, is a long and counter productive process.
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    The prevention of lost revenue, bad image, and time dealing with law suits is priceless. Hell Samsung had to pay Rambus $900 Million not to long ago for patents. The 3G and 4G wireless related patents may be worth $900 Million alone.
    Reply