Justice Department Gives Final Approval for Sale of Nortel Patents to Apple, Microsoft

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Last year, Apple, Microsoft, EMC, RIM, Sony, and others banded together to win a $4.5 billion bid for more than 6,000 patents from bankrupt network equipment maker Nortel. The group, called "Rockstar Consortium" says it has received final approval from the US Department of Justice for the acquisition of the patents.

nortel logo1
Among others, antitrust regulators from the Federal Trade Commission, Canadian authorities, and Nortel's bankruptcy court have previously signed off on the purchase. Just after the purchase last year, it was rumored that Apple had contributed more than half of the total purchase -- $2.6 billion -- and received outright ownership of a number of the key patents in Nortel's portfolio, with the other companies in the consortium receiving licensed rights to the patents.

Now that the legal hurdles are out of the way, Rockstar says it will "implement its plans to pursue licensing agreements with companies that are harnessing its intellectual property.” In other words, expect more patent-related lawsuits.

Top Rated Comments

Exotic-Car Man Avatar
116 months ago
More lawsuits = Law Blog

In other words, expect more patent-related lawsuits.

Could we please have a separate blog called "Law" for all of these future lawsuits to go into?

When I first started reading MacRumors about a year and a half ago, (this was even before the latest website layout/remodel) it was a great place to go for Apple news and rumors of new products, and it provided a guidance for when to buy your Apple product. The site still strongly holds those values now, but since Apple has begun being sued left and right about a year ago (give or take a couple months), MacRumors has lost some of the pleasurable reading environment and experience that it used to have. Now, I feel like lawsuit articles are awkwardly spread throughout the Front Page, iOS Blog, and Mac Blog. If these lawsuit articles were in a separate blog, people like me, who are uninterested in these articles, could completely ignore them, but people who enjoy these articles could still read them. I'm sure there's people like me who get perturbed by all of these articles, but there are most likely others who still want to read them.

Thanks.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Medic278 Avatar
116 months ago
And yet another round...... where or where does the merry go round stop?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
116 months ago

but Motorola also has quite a few of the key patents in LTE tech as well.

The Nortel patents are going to be mostly FRAND patents. That is great for money but more worthless if you want to hurt your competitors. I expect some patent trading deals to go on.


Actually, the value of the Nortel portfolio was so high because it was largely unencumbered. In their waining years, Nortel did not renew licenses for patents in their portfolio in order to increase the value of the portfolio. If they had previously offered the patents up for FRAND licensing then the worth of the portfolio probably would not have been $4.5B. Heck, $4.5B for roughly 2,000 patents is a whole lot more than most folks are getting for patent sales.

If they are largely FRAND patents then Rockstar overpaid, but then Apple will likely use the portfolio to take the teeth out of Motorola's FRAND lawsuits (assuming the "Qualcomm already paid for that" defense fails).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
daxomni Avatar
116 months ago

Could we please have a separate blog called "Law" for all of these future lawsuits to go into?

There are all sorts of threads I'm not interested in. Which is why I read the tread title before clicking on it.

I bought a little Nortel stock a few months before it tanked. It's worth less than a dollar for all my shares now. Who is getting all this $$$$$ that is being paid for these patents? The stockholders should certainly share in that!
$4.5 billion???

You say this with a straight face? In a country where we routinely privatize profits and socialize losses? You must be joking?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nielsenius Avatar
116 months ago

And yet another round...... where or where does the merry go round stop?

It never does. This is business, I guess. Patents are a big deal and companies will go through hell to get/keep them.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rodimus Prime Avatar
116 months ago

Actually, the value of the Nortel portfolio was so high because it was largely unencumbered. In their waining years, Nortel did not renew licenses for patents in their portfolio in order to increase the value of the portfolio. If they had previously offered the patents up for FRAND licensing then the worth of the portfolio probably would not have been $4.5B. Heck, $4.5B for roughly 2,000 patents is a whole lot more than most folks are getting for patent sales.

If they are largely FRAND patents then Rockstar overpaid, but then Apple will likely use the portfolio to take the teeth out of Motorola's FRAND lawsuits (assuming the "Qualcomm already paid for that" defense fails).


It been viewed that anything that gets put into the LTE standard are going to be FRAND no if ands or buts about it. They know it.

If you look at a lot of the 3G patents and for example the one with the current Moto suing Apple. Most of the time companies just cross licences patents over paying FRAND rates. I expect a lot of that to happen here as well.

I think a lot of experts think that Nortal got a great deal. Google back out and did not join with RockStar because that lost the weapon they wanted which was to have others back off on the lawsuits my guess with cross licencing.

The RockStar group did not want Google to get it because that would give Google a huge amount of teeth but as a weapon against Android the patents are rather weak.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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