Patents Sale! Judges Approve Nortel Intellectual Property Sales To Apple, Microsoft and Others

Nortel is selling $4.5 billion worth of Patents to a consortium of tech companies that include Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry manufacturer Research In Motion after the deal was approved on Monday by judges in both the United States and Canada.

The deal hands over nearly 6,000 wireless patents to those company’s and Rockstar Bidco which has holdings with EMC Corp, Ericsson and Sony Corp. which means six different company’s will receive patents as part of the process.

The deal was commented on by Delaware bankruptcy judge Kevin Gross who noted that the deal if not approved would have been a “$4.5 billion mistake.”

Under the deal six companies will get their hands on the patents, some of which are considered the “most lucrative” in the wireless industry, with money from the sale going to pay off some of the company’s debts after Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009.

Among bidders in the process were Google who opened bids at $900 million, Intel Corp and even a patent licensing company who would later drop their bid.

With Apple getting their hands on many important pieces of mobile IP it’s believed Apple and other telecommunications company’s may go after Google as they now dominate the mobile OS market with Google Android outselling Apple’s iOS at a rapid clip.

Speaking about the outcome Google senior vice president and general counsel Kent Walker said:

“This outcome is disappointing for anyone who believes that open innovation benefits users and promotes creativity and competition,” while adding, “We will keep working to reduce the current flood of patent litigation that hurts both innovators and consumers.”

[via PC Mag]