Sweden's Ericsson buys Nortel patents

AP News
Posted: Jul 01, 2011 8:40 AM
Sweden's Ericsson buys Nortel patents

Swedish wireless network maker LM Ericsson AB on Friday said it is part of a consortium that has won a $4.5 billion cash bidding process for patents auctioned off by bankrupt Canadian telecom group Nortel Networks Corp.

Nortel's patent portfolio consists of around 6,000 patents and patent applications, and includes telecommunications, internet search and social networking.

Stockholm-headquartered Ericsson did not name the other technology companies taking part in the consortium but said it was itself contributing with some $340 million of the total transaction sum.

Ontario-based Nortel has been selling its operations piece by piece since it filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the U.S. in January 2009.

Nortel noted significant interest during the bidding process, including from Google Inc. who wanted the portfolio to defend itself against patent suits from other companies.

Ericsson's Chief Intellectual Property Officer Kasim Alfalahi said the collection of patents, reflecting more than a century of research and development activities, included "some essential patents in telecommunications and other industries."

"We believe the consortium is in the best position to utilize the patents in a manner that will be favorable to the industry long term," he added.

Ericsson said the deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year and will need approval from U.S. and Canadian bankruptcy courts to go through.