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Friday, July 01, 2011
Apple, Microsoft, RIM And Sony and Sony Win Nortel's Patent Portfolio

After a multi-day auction, a consortium consisted of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research In Motion and Sony emerged as the winning bidder of Nortel's remaining patents, with a cash purchase price of US$4.5 billion.

Broadband and networking patents developed by bankrupt Nortel Networks went up for sale earlier this week.

The sale includes more than 6,000 patents and patent applications spanning 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.

Google, which offered $900 million for the patents in April, was not among the winning bidders.

"Following a very robust auction, we are pleased at the outcome of the auction of this extensive patent portfolio", said George Riedel, Chief Strategy Officer and President of Business Units, Nortel. "The size and dollar value for this transaction is unprecedented, as was the significant interest in the portfolio among major companies around the world."

The sale is subject to applicable Canadian and U.S. Court approvals which will be sought at a joint hearing expected to be held on July 11, 2011. Nortel will work diligently with the consortium to close the sale in the third quarter of 2011.

However, the auction reportedly attracted the attention of the Justice Department, which was said to be looking into whether the winner would be gaining an unfair edge against the competition.

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