Department of Justice approves Apple’s acquisition of Nortel patents

By , Mar 12, 2012

The US Department of Justice has just approved the sale of Nortel patents to the group Rockstar Consortium, which is an alliance made up of Apple, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Ericsson and Sony. The acquisition is priced at roughly $4.5 billion and will give the group 4,000 patents, reports The Next Web.

The patents are vital, and cover areas like 4G, network, voice, and more…

These patent assets were a substantial component in the record-breaking auction this past summer, when Rockstar Consortium, made up of Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Ericsson and Sony, invested $4.5 billion to acquire Nortel’s portfolio from the bankruptcy estate. Nortel, a 100+ year-old telecom and networking pioneer, had developed the portfolio through tens of billions of dollars of R&D investment over the past few decades. Following the expiration of the waiting period, Rockstar is set to implement its plans to pursue licensing agreements with companies that are harnessing its intellectual property.

Nortel Networks is over a 100 years old and was one of the first telecom companies ever created. The company went bankrupt in 2009 and was forced to sell a large chunk of its patent portfolio for cash. Google and Rockstar Consortium were among the groups that bid for the beloved patents.

The acquisition already got the approval of several US courts earlier this summer, but was waiting for the approval from the DoJ. Today, the DoJ’s waiting period to review the acquisition has ended, which has lead to giving Rockstar Consortium its approval.

Patents are a vital asset to technology companies. If they’re not equipped with the necessary patents, companies could suffer serious lawsuits and bans on its products. Apple is among the many companies that goes after others for violating its patents. Most recently, the Cupertino-based Apple has been going after Samsung and Motorola.

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