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Nortel Patent Library Up for Sale

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Nortel Networks logoTORONTO, CanadaBlackBerry-maker Research in Motion has put in a bid above that of Google for the collection of 6000 patents owned by Nortel.

The bid war should continue for some time, the prize is a deep portfolio of communications and technology related patents that could springboard either company to a leadership position in the mobile communications technology market.

Nortel, the once proud jewel in the Canadian technology crown, was a world leader in wire line and cellular communications. Setting standards and competing hard with US and European giants, Nortel held its own for many years.  A victim of the economic downturn, the company has gone into bankruptcy and in need of cash; the portfolio of patents is a huge win for the eventual buyer.

Google and RIM are two of the bidders, with Google looking to get a technological jump on other companies that have invested in research for decades.  The mobile technology patents, especially for Long Term Evolution (LTE), would give RIM a leg up in the upcoming deployment of the protocol for 4G networks.

“Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories,” said Google general counsel Kent Walker. “So after a lot of thought, we’ve decided to bid for Nortel’s patent portfolio in the company’s bankruptcy auction.”

The bidding could go over US$1 billion, and there are other interested parties including Apple and Nokia.

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By , RIM-affairs Correspondent on Apr 18th, 2011 GMT +2

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