Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony Jointly Purchase 6,000+ Patents in Nortel Auction


An interesting consortium of investors that include Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony, EMC, and Ericsson have jointly purchased the patent assets of bankrupt telecommunications giant Nortel. Google opened the bidding at $900 Million and the consortium closed with a $4.5 billion winning bid. However, I have to question whether the money is well spent and actually a “win” when it all gets boiled down.

The implications could be as far reaching as the patents themselves, which include:

wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patents. The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking.

On the other hand, patent law has gotten beyond ridiculous, with tech companies litigating on any patent they can possibly conceive might kind of be sort of be getting violated. Even worse, many of these patents are so generic that they shouldn’t have been awarded in the first place. I don’t mean to totally insult the innovation of the companies involved… but the patent war has spun out of control.

In my mind, there is only one solution: send Steve Jobs, Andy Rubin, and the rest of the bigwigs at these companies to Judge Judy. She doesn’t take any crap and I’m sure she’d sort this whole thing out just fine.

[Via MarketWatch]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I think you mean $4.5 billion, not million. I was really confused why they turned down a $900 million offer and accepted a $4.5 million one…

    1. FIXED! Sorry… Dr Evil moment.

  2. “$900 Million and the consortium closed with a $4.5 million winning bid” should that be $4.5 billion?

  3. who is the winner and who is the loser? Lets say for a moment that google starts to get sued, by the time the negotiate licensing fees, I believe it will be for far less than 4.5 BILLION. So really, if google is saving money by licensing, they’re really the winner here.

  4. “Google opened the bidding at $900 Million and the consortium closed with a $4.5 million winning bid”
    Shouldn’t that be $4.5 billion?

  5. Wow! Sooo, does this mean that every day we come to Phandroid, the front page will be littered with articles about who is suing who? I mean, more than now.

  6. We are the losers. Google isn’t the only products we buy. Google doesn’t use patents offensivly… Apple and Microsoft will be sueing all your favorite brands now and you will have to pay.

  7. Whats makes me kinda sad for Google about this….

    Didnt they offer free Wifi for folks in Mountain View and on some airplanes last year?

    I honestly feel Google woulda did more good with these patents than the others. This coulda been a first step for Google to try to open their own phone carrier business, a dream some of yall spoke about.

    It remains to be seen whats to come of all this. Right now arent companies using and licensing these types of technologies from someone now already? So this might not be too big a deal. Just some licenses might get paid to one of the companies mentioned above.

    Looking at what they’re going thru with Oracle, Google probably shoulda tried harder to get some of these patents.

    1. You are right. Google were definitely the good guys here. Everyone who didn’t have a direct financial interest lost out here.

  8. Maybe Google is going to sell off the Android business because they find it to problematic. Google will probably focus on Google+ (social networking) where they can bombard the Google+ with adverts. I feel Google is not that aggressive in the mobile business anymore.

  9. “In my mind, there is only one solution: send Steve Jobs, Andy Rubin, and the rest of the bigwigs at these companies to Judge Judy”.

    Or better still, put them on an deserted island in true Battle Royale style. They each get a random weapon ranging from a pencil to a sub-machine gun. Last man standing wins :-)

    1. They would still end up in patent court as they’d all grab writing utensils and start patenting the ability to kill each other. Because patenting ideas is a lot easier than actually doing something.

  10. you know, 4.5 billion can really be better put to fixing a lot of things in this country…like our school education

    1. 4.5 billion is pocket change compared to what we have gotten ourselves stuck in -.-

  11. These deals are more for equal protection for basic techniques among competitors, leveling the playing field and I’m guessing google is already in on a similar deal or they can get into a similar deal if they want. Google just needs to work around these basic patented techniques, just one improvement on these patents is all they need. Or they can buy patents with other companies also, maybe all the android manufacturers, but they can’t just use a patented technique somebody else invented or improved. Nortel invested in research labs, gave out the salaries, they need some compensation for everything they paid for.

  12. Damn it, Google!!! Why did you let this go? Don’t f… us!!!

  13. While Apple sells products to its customers google sells its customers to products. Android dorks are like religious zealots who resort to logical fallacies to prove their religion is better. IOS is a much more mature and stable platform than Android and therefore does everything better than any Android phone. And most losers buy an Android just because it is cheaper and no other reason. Besides isn’t Andriod just an illegal piracy of Linux, Java and Iphone UI? People who really care about open source should hate Android just for the reason that it steals credit from Linux and Java communities. The only winners of this theft other than google are asian manufacturers at the cost of US manufacturers like RIM, Microsoft, Palm and Apple. I hope US government takes note of Google’s blatant violation of US Export laws and shuts down this evil enterprise. And the Irony is that Google feeds its Andriod zombies with open source Kool aid,making them believe Andriod is an open source movement while it continues to cash big Advertising revenue.

    Google fans make no mention of the fact that google remotely reads users mail and serves up ads that are correlated to the content. Like that? I don’t. But then as Google’s Eric Schmidt put it, if you have nothing to hide, why are you averse to having your personal files read by all and sundry? Had someone asked Schmidt if he was willing to sleep with his partner in public, he probably would have backed down – but then the Google faithful only stand in awe when such pronouncements are made. For them, Google can do no wrong. Even when it sends Google Street cars to steal personal information from unsuspecting wifi users.

    Actually the only people who love Andriod are those who love to steal music and applications and find it difficult to do that on IOS and therefore complain that it is a closed platform. Apple promotes innovation and rewards its innovative developers, who have made billions while Andriod developers make next to nothing.

    Andriod is a platform by the thieves, of the thieves and for the thieves.

    1. How many times are you going to post this (same exact text)? At least 2nd on phandroid and 5th on web. At least you continue to spell “loser” correctly after I corrected you from “looser.” Thanks for listening to me, and now listen again: post something intelligent and based on facts, no one is reading this stuff anymore.

      1. Some ppl will never learn…lol

        I stopped reading it at Android dorks.

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