Google, facing a flood of patent lawsuits, said it was disappointed after losing a multi-billion dollar auction for thousands of telecom, Web and Social Networking patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel to a rival group of companies which included Apple and Microsoft.

Nortel has auctioned off all of its remaining patents and application to a consortium of companies which also includes EMC, Ericsson, Research In Motion and Sony for $4.5 billion, Nortel said late Thursday.

The sale of 6,000 patents and patent applications touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications, Nortel said.

Nortel official George Riedel said auction action was very robust, adding that the size and dollar value was unprecedented from major companies around the world.

The sale, expected to close in the third quarter, is subject to U.S. and Canadian Court approvals to take place jointly on July 11.

This outcome is disappointing for anyone who believes that open innovation benefits users and promotes creativity and competition, said Kent Walker, a Google attorney said on Friday in a statement. We will keep working to reduce the current flood of patent litigation that hurts both innovators and consumers.