February 03, 2011

Bidders Ready to Battle for Nortel Patents


Industry giants are lining up to battle for a huge block of Nortel Networks Corp., patents, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The article reveals that Canada’s fallen tech titan plans to select an initial bidder for its “massive portfolio of patents” within three weeks. To date, potential buyers include Apple Inc. and Google Inc., according to the Journal.

Ever since filing for bankruptcy in 2009, Nortel has been divvying up its assets, including 4,000 patents. The patents currently piquing the greatest interest among bidders are those that relate to third and fourth generation wireless technology. The WSJ reports that wireless carriers, network-equipment companies and smartphone manufacturers are interested in these patents because they could safeguard companies against lawsuits in today’s uber-litigious wireless industry. The WSJ reports that the deal is expected to top $1 billion.

For example, in December, TechZone360.com outlined an Associated Press report that revealed Sony filing a patent infringement complaint against LG Electronics and its U.S. subsidiaries with the U.S. International Trade Commission. The allegation: LG’s smartphones infringe on Sony’s proprietary, patent-protected technology including its photo-based caller ID.

The report revealed that Sony also filed a lawsuit against LG in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Other allegations include LG infringing on patented technology for encoding and transmitting audio to suit bandwidth capacity, as well as its patents on transmission power technology.

Sony isn’t the only tech giant currently embroiled in a patent dispute. In October, TechZone360.com reported that Motorola launched a patent dispute, accusing Apple of infringing on patents pertaining to its wireless and mobile devices. On Oct. 6, Motorola filed its complaints with the International Trade Commission as well as in the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida. Motorola Mobility, a Motorola subsidiary, also filed a complaint against Apple.

The legal dispute surrounds Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iTouch and other Mac computers, which Motorola alleges infringe on 18 of its patents in the areas of antenna design and related smartphone technologies.

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Edited by Tammy Wolf



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