According to MacRumors, Apple has reportedly begun it’s bidding for Nortel Networks extensive collection of patents. Nortel filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and now it looks like the firm is ready to sell off all of their assets to outside companies.
Reports claim the company itself owns roughly 4,000 patents which collectively are worth in the region of $1 Billion.
Sources expect the sale to draw wireless telecom newcomers Apple and Google, which want to build up patent war chests as they fight incumbents such as Nokia, which want to protect their patent positions, in the courts.
“There has been one round of bidding on those patents, this has been completed,” said one source, who declined to be identified because the process is private. “And what Nortel has done is divide the patents up into different lots covering different kinds of technologies.”
The report also states that it is clear Apple will not be fully interested in all of the patents on offer, but instead will be selective, choosing only the patents which may apply to it’s current product lines.
The patents likely to draw the most attention relate to third- and fourth-generation wireless technology such as Long Term Evolution, with device-makers such as Research In Motion, Motorola, and Apple seen as likely bidders.
“It is certainly a very significant stockpile of potent weaponry, and whoever lays their hands on it is going to gain significant advantage,” said Alexander Poltorak, chief executive of General Patent Corp, which advises companies on intellectual property strategy and valuation but is not advising anyone involved in the Nortel patent auction.