by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jun 2nd 2010 6:12pm
It looks like just about all that's left of former telco equipment giant Nortel is a whole bunch of patents, that are now expected to sell for somewhere in the range of $1.1 billion. The big question, of course, is who ends up with those patents, and what they do with them. Generally speaking, you don't see companies spend $1.1 billion on a bunch of patents, unless they're planning something big. It's entirely possible someone will buy them for defensive purposes, but equally likely that they're used to sue lots of other companies (or, perhaps by the likes of Intellectual Ventures, to scare people into paying up to avoid the possibility of being sued). Either way, it's yet another example of why patents can be dangerous even if the original patent holders didn't use them to shake down other innovative companies. Those patents may later get sold to the highest bidder...
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