Report: Ericsson weighs bid for Nortel's patents

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is considering joining the growing list of companies interested in buying bankrupt Nortel Networks' patent portfolio, according to a Bloomberg report, which cited unnamed sources.

The report said Ericsson has not yet made a decision on whether to bid or which patents to bid for. Additionally, the report said Ericsson is mulling a joint bid with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) or Intel. Google made the opening "stalking horse" bid of $900 million for the patents in April. Nortel's patent portfolio comprises around 6,000 patents, including those related to wireless services, data networking and LTE.

An Ericsson spokesman declined to comment. Representatives from Google and Intel declined to comment, though a Microsoft spokesman said the company has royalty-free rights to all Nortel patents thanks to a 2006 cross-licensing deal, according to Bloomberg.

RPX Corp., a patent-buying firm, has confirmed it is interested in Nortel's patents. Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) may also bid for the patents, Bloomberg reported last month.

If Ericsson were to bid for the patents and win, it would be the crowning jewel in Ericsson's campaign to scoop up Nortel's assets. Ericsson won Nortel's CDMA and LTE units for $1.13 billion in 2009, and has also acquired other Nortel assets, including Nortel's North American GSM business.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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