The bidding is finally over! After months of speculation, a coalition of six companies (Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion, Sony, Ericsson, and EMC) has walked away with bankrupt Canadian telecom giant Nortel’s vast collection of intellectual property patents for the bargain price of $4.5 billion. Meanwhile, Google, the company responsible for opening the bidding process at $900 million last April, finds itself empty-handed. Google had hoped that by securing Nortel’s treasure trove of patents, it could protect itself from potential litigation. Currently, 45 infringement lawsuits have been filed against Google for its Android software and manufacturers of devices utilizing the Android system. Many of Nortel’s patents involve 4G communications and other technologies which could have provided a defensive line against Google’s pending litigation. After submitting unusual bid amounts of $2,614,972,128 and $3.14159 billion (a billion dollars times pi), Google declined to bid past the $4 billion dollar mark.

Just last month it was reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had opened an antitrust review of the Nortel auction, fearing that if any company had secured all of Nortel’s intellectual property, it would use the patents to stifle competition. The results of the auction should allay the DOJ’s concerns as no single company walked away with a majority of Nortel’s patents. What has yet to be determined is how Google plans to defend itself in court without the Nortel patents it hoped to use to counter its pending and future lawsuits…stay tuned!

- Stephen Josey

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One Response to Google Loses Nortel Auction with Pi-In-The-Sky-Bid

  1. Google FTW says:

    Come on, close the bidding at a billion times pi – the nerdiest companies should get the best technology… #semi-communist