Nortel was just looking for some quick cash when the company put its 6,000 telecommunications patents up for auction. Then Google decided that IP would make a mighty fine troll deterrent, and started a crazy bidding war to get it. A coalition of the willing -- including Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM, and Sony -- opposed Big G and paid $4.5 billion for the prize portfolio pending approval by the powers that be. Well, both Canadian and US bankruptcy judges just gave the purchase two thumbs up, and the deal is officially done. Now the question is whether the auction's victors will use these patents as a shield against those with trollish intentions or as a sword to strike at their enemies?

Update: To clarify, the deal was only approved by the bankruptcy courts, and the US DOJ is examining the sale for its possible anti-competitive effects.