Patently Insane

$4.5 Billion Purchase of Nortel Patents is a Potent Reminder How Broken the System has Become

patent troll

A heated bidding war taking place at the World Trade Center has finally wrapped up. At stake was the largest collection of technology patents ever assembled into a single sale portfolio, the treasure trove of the now bankrupt Nortel.

Google emerged as the early front runner with a $900 million bid and was expected to compete with Apple over a price that could reach as high as $1.5 billion. In the end a coalition of Microsoft, Apple, RIM, and Sony beat out Google with a massive $4.5 billion bid.

The sad reality of the situation is that the massive interest in the patents is not about innovation. When Google filed its stalking horse bid back in April, Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker, said the search giants interest was primarily defensive, “to create a disincentive for others to sue Google. The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low quality software patents.”  Read More