One by one, companies are getting the green light from the Department of Justice to bid on over 6,000 patents being auctioned off as part of Nortel's bankruptcy. Google received approval earlier this week, and Apple is supposedly next.
Nortel is auctioning off its patents on June 27. Google has already bid US$900 million and will receive this treasure trove of intellectual property unless a competing bid is entered by another company, like Apple. Nortel's attorney has not released the names of any additional bidders and will remain silent until it picks a winner in the next few weeks.
Despite the high price and regulatory hurdles, companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are actively pursuing these patents. It's not very often that such a large number of wireless and networking patents become available at one time. The company that walks away with the lion's share of this property will have a robust arsenal to both initiate and defend itself in patent infringement cases.