Google bid for a patent armoury
Google has placed a $900 million bid on Nortel's patent portfolio in an attempt to build a "formidable patent portfolio" to defend the company from other company's patent related law suits. The bid from Google has been selected by Nortel as the "stalking horse" bid making its $900M offer a starting point for other bidders. The company said that protecting the open source communities around Android and Chrome was one of the reasons it was bidding. Google is still a relatively young company and has not applied for that many patents.
Nortel filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and creditors had been reportedly hoping to raise a billion dollars from the sale of the company's patent portfolio. The portfolio consists of around six thousand patents covering technologies in wireless infrastructure and handsets, including wireless 4G, data networking, optical networking, internet advertising, voice communications and computing. Subject to approval, the auction is due to occur in June.
In a posting on Google's official blog, Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker, said that if Google was successful in its bid, then it would create a disincentive for companies to sue Google and allow "our partners and the open source community" to "continue to innovate". Walker noted that as there had been a "absence of meaningful reform, we believe it's the best long-term solution for Google, our users and our partners".