Report: RIM may outbid Google for Nortel's patent portfolio

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) may enter a bid for bankrupt Nortel Networks' patent portfolio that tops Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) opening "stalking horse" bid of $900 million, according to a Bloomberg report, which cited unnamed sources.

The report said that RIM is deciding whether to enter its bid for the assets alone or enter a joint bid to save cash. A RIM spokeswoman declined to comment.

Nortel's patent portfolio includes around 6,000 patents, including those related to wireless services, data networking and LTE. Google, which had been mentioned for months as a potential suitor for Nortel's patents, framed its bid as an attempt to defend itself against frivolous patent lawsuits. The company also reiterated a call for a reform of the patent process.

A stalking horse bid sets a base price for the auction, and a stalking horse bidder usually receives a break-up fee if its bid is unsuccessful. However, the company that wins the stalking horse bid doesn't always wind up winning the auction. Nokia Siemens Networks received the stalking horse bid of $650 million in 2009 for the Nortel CDMA and LTE assets that Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) eventually won for $1.13 billion.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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