Auction for thousands of wireless technology patents belonging to failed telecom giant Nortel began Monday.
The bidding process for 6,000 patents and patent application began in April, with Google offering a $900-million stalking horse bid. If no other player had entered the bidding process, auction would ended June 20.
But because of the entry of other bidders, including Apple, Intel and Ericsson, Nortel delayed the auction by a week. The highest bid placed Monday will be reviewed by a US bankruptcy court in Delaware July 11.
The 129-year-old Canadian telecom giant, which declared bankruptcy in the US and Canada 2009 after its accumulated problems, has been selling its various businesses to pay off debtors.
The portfolio of 6,000 patents and patent applications relating to cutting-edge, next-generation wireless technology is its last remaining asset to go on the auction block.
With other giants joining the bidding process, the patent portfolio now is likely to fetch Nortel much more than the $900 million offered by Google. According to technology analysts, it could go up to $1.5 billion.
Since Nortel-patented technology is used in RIM's BlackBerry, Apple's iPhone and Google Android smart phones, the buyer of these patents will gain the rights to license this technology to secure royalties and market influence in the multi-trillion-dollar technology field.
Google was the first make an offer for Nortel patents because the Internet search engine giant is entering other areas, including telecom, as devices running on its Android operating system are fast snatching market from Apple, RIM, Nokia and Microsoft.
At its peak, Ottawa-based Nortel was the world's top telecom company, with a market value of over $250 billion and 90,000 employees around the world.
The auction will formally spell the end of the former technology giant.