Apple given go-ahead for Nortel patents


Nortel's patent portfolio has continued to gain high profile interest, with Apple joining the battle for its intellectual property.

Steve Jobs' firm won the right to bid on over 6,000 patents held by Nortel, after being given the green light by US anti-trust officials at the Justice Department.

It will now join other bidders, including Google, Intel and Ericsson, which all have to make their offers before the 27 June deadline.

The patents cover wireless, data and optical networking, voice, internet, semiconductor and other technologies. They went on sale due to Nortel filing for bankruptcy back in 2009 and needing to sell off all its assets.

The leading bidder up until now has been Google. The Silicon Valley giant put in an initial stalking horse bid of $900 million (562 million) for the patents, but it was expected to encourage higher offers.

RIM is also in the running, although its ability to outbid the competition is in doubt following its most recent set of weak financial results.

The auction will take place in Nortel's lawyer's US offices next week and no announcement on the bids will be made until a winner has been established.

However, the US Justice Department's anti-trust group will stay with the deal and ensure no rules are broken.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.