Apple leads group to buy Nortel patents

iLead. Apple led a group of six partners to a successful bid for Nortel Network’s remaining patent portfolio. The successful group, which includes Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE), Research in Motion (RIMM), Ericsson (ERIC) and EMC (EMC), agreed to pay $4.5 billion for the portfolio. The deal is set to close this quarter, provided the bid gets approval from both U.S. and Canadian courts.

The successful purchase will give Apple and its partners access to more than 6,000 patents and applications used in the Internet and microchip areas. The winning bid trumped Google’s (GOOG) $900-million offer for the remaining Nortel patent portfolio. An analyst noted that the price was most certainly higher than what people were expecting. However, he also noted that the deal seems to make sense since all of the players needed parts of the patent portfolio, but not all of it. Research in Motion will pay $770 million for its share of patents, while Ericcson will contribute $340 million to the deal.

This agreement appears to be a setback for Google, who lacks the patent portfolio of other industry leaders and who was looking to the Nortel IP assets as a way to bolster its mobile Android operating system. In a press release, Google noted, “This outcome is disappointing for anyone who believes that open innovation benefits users and promotes creativity and competition.”

Apple (AAPL : NASDAQ : US$343.26), Net Change: 7.59, % Change: 2.26%, Volume: 15,457,751

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