Patent Wars: DoJ May Take Preemptive Action as Giants Build Stockpiles

A consortium of six major tech players calling themselves “Rockstar Bidco” won a US$4.5 billion bid for 6,000 Nortel patents in June. The deal closed last week, but all is not said and done, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The Department of Justice reportedly intends to ask the consortium members — Apple, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Ericsson, Sony and EMC — just what they plan to do with their new patent stash.

Generally speaking, the Nortel patents mainly support 4G and WiFi technologies — areas that are vitally important to Google, creator of the Android operating system, and virtually every other wireless vendor.

The agency did not respond to the E-Commerce Times’ request to comment for this story.

It could be that it fears the portfolio will be used to support patent litigation — now the weapon of choice among wireless and mobile device providers — aimed at Google, which lost out to Rockstar Bidco with its $3 billion-plus offer.

Perhaps Google also has this concern in mind. The company just acquired more than 1,000 patents from IBM. Earlier this year, Kent Walker, senior vice president and general counsel for Google, flat out said the company was gunning for the Nortel portfolio for defensive reasons.

The patents Google acquired from IBM

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