Home > I.P. Freely > Nortel Networks’ Patent Sales Could top $1B

Nortel Networks’ Patent Sales Could top $1B

It’s a Nortel Networks fire sale! Well, maybe not quite, but the former Canadian telecommunications giant is selling its patents in an effort to raise funds to pay of its enormous debt. According to figures from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Toronto-based company has about 4,500 patents granted, and about 1,000 applications for patents pending. Nortel’s insolvency has some high technology companies smelling blood, including Canadian giant Research in Motion, which manufactures the BlackBerry.

According to Peter Conley of MDB, a Santa Monica based IP Group:

“Patent estates of this size don’t come along that often … this is the equivalent of acquiring the IP of a large technology company. If you could buy that for a billion dollars, it would be a bargain.”

Nortel’s valuable patents relate to technology used in smart-phones and mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry. Nortel has stated that it has started soliciting bids for the patents. Nortel was once a darling of the the telecommunications industry, and source of national pride for Canadian industry. It’s souffle-like collapse which started in the late 90s culminated when Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009 after posting a loss of $5.8 billion in 2008.

The corporations creditors claim they are owed as much as $16.3 billion – a number the company will challenge vigourously as part of its bankruptcy case. Nortel  disputes this finding and has stated in court documents that it owes about $5.9 billion.

Nortel’s patents are estimated to be worth between $750 million to $1.1 billion.

Waterloo, Ontario based RIM attempted to block Sweden Ericsson AB’s $1.13 billion purchase last year of Nortel’s code- division multiple access, or CDMA, technology. Most mobile phones in North America run on this technology and RIM purported the deal would deprive Canada of vital technology.

RIM co-Chief Executive Officer Mike Lazaridis has called Nortel’s LTE technology a “national treasure.”

Among the other telecommunications companies poised to compete to Nortel’s patents includes Sweden’s Ericsson, and California’s Cisco Systems. U.S. Patent Office data indicates that the San Jose, California-based company has cited Nortel 3,200 times in its patent applications.

Please find the full article here.

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