Google Ups Mobile Stake, Bids On Nortel Patents


In an effort to build out its patent portfolio, Google will bid on Nortel Networks' patents that the bankrupt telecom company will auction off at a price of more than $900 million.

The push toward mobile and faster networks likely prompted the bid. The technology supports a range of applications such as 4G wireless, and semiconductors, as well as infrastructure like optical and data networking, and Internet advertising.

"Today, Nortel selected our bid as the 'stalking-horse bid,' which is the starting point against which others will bid prior to the auction. If successful, we hope this portfolio will not only create a disincentive for others to sue Google, but also help us, our partners and the open source community -- which is integrally involved in projects like Android and Chrome -- continue to innovate," Kent Walker, senior vice president and general counsel, wrote in a blog post Monday.

A "stalking-horse bid" allow others to come in and bid higher than the minimum price Google sets for the roughly 6,000 patents.

Walker wrote that obtaining the patents would become a deterrent for companies to initiate a lawsuit against Google and assist open-source software projects, such as Android and Chrome.

Not surprisingly, Google announced the bid on the same day Google Cofounder Larry Page steps in as CEO, replacing Eric Schmidt.


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