Google Loses Coveted Nortel Patents to Apple, Microsoft, and Others

Google did not prevail in Nortel Networks Corp.’s highly coveted mobile tech patent auction.

But Apple, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Sony, EMC and Ericsson did.

The six companies spent a whopping $4.5 billion to buy the Nortel patents as a group. All told, 6,000 patents and patent applications were acquired by the companies, each of which hopes the technologies contained within will be pivotal to the future of mobile computing.

Google reportedly made a $900-million bid, which was ultimately not sufficient.

Many industry analysts expected Google to aggressively pursue the trove of patents, as the company’s Android platform is quickly ascending to major-player status in the world of mobile – a realm the patents stand to substantially benefit.

“Following a very robust auction, we are pleased at the outcome of the auction of this extensive patent portfolio”, said George Riedel, Nortel’s chief strategy officer. “The size and dollar value for this transaction is unprecedented, as was the significant interest in the portfolio among major companies around the world.”

“Nortel will work diligently with the consortium to close the sale in the third quarter of 2011,” a statement from Nortel said following the auction.

The sale will not be final until Canadian and US courts sign off on the transaction.