The US Federal Trade Commission confirmed on Thursday that it has accepted Apple’s plea to participate in the bidding for the assets of bankrupt Nortel Networks corp.
The patent portfolio of Nortel comprises 6000 patents, including wireless videos, wi-fi, Internet and a next-generation mobile-data technology now being adopted by carriers, known as LTE.
If Apple can bag this huge collection of intellectual property, it is likely to gain enormous leverage over other smartphone and tablet makers. The patent portfolio reportedly includes a wide range of commonly used smartphone and wireless technologies.
“Among those assets up for grabs is a so-called treasure trove of some ‘6,000 patents spanning key portions of the modern world, including wireless video, wi-fi, Internet search and a next-generation mobile-data technology now being adopted by carriers, known as LTE’,” according to Katie Marsal of the technology website Apple Insider.
Whoever buys the patents is likely to come under scrutiny for anti-competitive practices. They will need to work to show that they do not intend to abuse the patents to drive other companies out of the smartphone market.
Google is currently believed to be enjoying a lead in the bidding for the collection of patents over others with its initial bid of $900 million.