Google Bid Pi-billion for Nortel’s Patents

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Google apparently raised a few eyebrows with its bids for Nortel’s patent portfolio this week, especially when the it bid US$3.14159 billion — or pi-billion — before ultimately losing out to an Apple and Microsoft led consortium and its $4.5 billion bid.

Google's bids go all the way to pi!The Internet search giant offered up several other unique bids, according to the Guardian, such as $1,902,160,540 (Brun’s constant) and $2,614,972,128 (Meissel-Mertens constant).

“They were bidding with the distance between the earth and the sun,” an unnamed source said. “One was the sum of a famous mathematical constant, and then when it got to $3 billion, they bid pi - $3.14159 billion. Either they were supremely confident or they were bored.”

Nortel put its patent portfolio on the auction block after declaring bankruptcy in 2009. The company said its portfolio included patents and patent applications covering “wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patents. The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking.”

Presumably, had the bidding topped $10 billion, Google would have countered with eleventy-billion.

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11 Comments Leave Your Own

Nemo

It seems that Google wasn’t able to circle the square.

Sir Harry Flashman

It seems that Google wasn?t able to circle the square.

And now they are eating humble pi. smile

geoduck

Either they were supremely confident or they were bored.?

Or they realized they were not going to win so they were having some fun while they tried to make it as expensive as possible for Apple, MS et.al.

b0wz3r

That Apple and Monoposoft teamed up in the bidding shows that their concern wasn’t in getting the patents for themselves, but merely in keeping Google from getting them.  If it was all that important to Apple by itself, or to M$ for that matter, either would have seriously tried to out bid the other.  Apple would have won of course; M$ wouldn’t be able to actually out bid Apple without doing some kind of major sell off, considering the Mons Olympus of cash that Apple has at its disposal.

No, this was about keeping Googles mitts off, and nothing more.  This is a classic case of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

According to an article over at AI: “At the end of the day this deal isn?t about royalties. It is about trying to kill Android,” the report noted.”

EXACTLY.

mhikl

I can?t see bored; frustration can be a mother to rationality which is probable more key to a quirky response. The matrix of phones, pads and operation systems are Apple?s and some of its friends bread and butter but only tinsel and baubles to Google, so what the hay. Together, the high-tech Apple-led-consortium has the loot to make a prankster take a second sober thought so these patents are just the price of fire-insurance for the protection of the family jewels. If really interested, Google might have consorted with its idiot siblings but there really isn?t much left-over silver that could be called ?profit? at Hostel Android to purchase fire-insurance?

So the consortium saves some coin by not paying patent penalties and they get a little change back from those who are not in the club. In the meantime, Apple gets better at the things it does best, HP has a good chance of meeting the needs of Apple loathers, RIM might rise from its deathbed for a last cough or two, Microsoft, in its dreams, quells the speed of its free-fall, Sony might get a second wind and the rest get some relief knowing Android makers will have patent nightmares that further knee caps their profits and Google can concentrate on making oodles of money at what it does best.

Will

I wonder if Google will need to start charging a licensing fee for Android.  It seems like they could cover future litigation costs with about a $10 fee (multiplied by over a 100 million a year) with minimal impact on the Android market.

Dorje Sylas

I wonder if Google will need to start charging a licensing fee for Android.  It seems like they could cover future litigation costs with about a $10 fee (multiplied by over a 100 million a year) with minimal impact on the Android market.

And kill the “geek sprite” that is Android development? A 10 dollar fee would see jailbreaks and rooting like crazy all over android devices as “geeks” who are rebelling against Apple’s $99 fee go ape shit about Google putting in “raised step” (as apposed to a wall). This would in turn damage Google Ad revenue, which in the end is all they are about.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I wonder if Google will need to start charging a licensing fee for Android.? It seems like they could cover future litigation costs with about a $10 fee (multiplied by over a 100 million a year) with minimal impact on the Android market.

Doubt it. Patent litigation in the mobile and wireless spaces will continue to be a pain in the ass for all significant players in these spaces. But it still remains muy importante to sell units, get market share, and establish brand presence now. It’s probably safe strategy for every company in this space to look at the Apple/Nokia settlement, pick numbers in the range of 1/3 to 3x what the value of that settlement is going to be, and just call it a potential cost of doing business in mobile and wireless. All of the players, including Apple, have behaved and continue to behave as if some level of blatant patent infringement is a safe bet.

Some companies will get to thump their chests under the banner of “innovation” and lots of lawyers will get to bill hours. That’s as far as it will go. A verdict or ITC decision that effectively takes a product off the market or puts it outside a competitive price point will draw too much legislative attention to patent silliness. The trick for companies that want to spar in the these spaces is to spar and settle.

dhp

Google would have looked clever and gotten great headlines had they won, but losing with those bids makes them look like unprofessional (but cocky) uber-dorks.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Google would have looked clever and gotten great headlines had they won, but losing with those bids makes them look like unprofessional (but cocky) uber-dorks.

Nothing bugs me more in comments than incomplete sentences. Let me complete that one for you:

...to people without a sense of humor.

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