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Nortel Selects Google’s Bid As ‘Stalking-horse Bid’

In all the stories speculating about who may bid for Nortel’s war chest of more than 4,000 6,000 plus telecommunications-related patents, there’s one name noticeably absent: Microsoft.

The Nortel patents allegedly up for auction are said to cover wireless handsets and infrastructure, as well as optical and data networking, Internet, Internet advertising, voice and personal computers.

Google had bid for Nortel’s patent portfolio in the company’s bankruptcy auction.

Google officials today confirmed that Google would join the ranks of others bidding for the patents that Nortel is putting up for bid as part of its bankruptcy process. In fact, according to a Google blog post, Google has made the $900 million “stalking horse,” or opening, bid, around which others will bid prior to the auction of the patents.

“Today, Nortel selected our bid as the “stalking-horse bid,” which’s 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’s integrally involved in projects like Android and Chrome–continue to innovate. In the absence of meaningful reform, we believe it’s the best long-term solution for Google, our users and our partners,” Google stated.

On the othe hand, a Microsoft spokesperson sent the statement:

Microsoft has a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to all of Nortel’s patents that covers all Microsoft products and services, resulting from the patent cross-license signed with Nortel in 2006.

Microsoft’s licensed rights to the patents continue, even when ownership of the patents change hands.

If Nokia ends up bidding on and winning some of those Nortel patents, perhaps partner Microsoft will benefit, to some degree, given the pair’s own recent partnership.


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