Nortel's patents still up for grabs

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) may have the leading bid for Nortel's remaining patents, but there's still time for other companies interested in snapping up the last bits of the once-mighty telecom vendor.

Potential bidders, which could include Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Research in Motion, Ericsson, and ZTE, have until 4 p.m. ET today to make a bid on the patents.  

"We hope and plan for a vibrant auction that will be attended by people worldwide," said Lisa Schweitzer of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, the law firm running Nortel's U.S. bankruptcy liquidation in a Wall Street Journal article.

At this point, the other companies are remaining tight lipped if they have a bid ready. Apple, Research in Motion and Ericsson would not confirm whether or not they would put in a bid, while Ericsson could not be reached and Intel refused to comment on the sale.

The only potential bidder that's saying anything is Microsoft. In a prepared statement Microsoft said it "has a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to all of Nortel's patents that covers all Microsoft products and services, resulting from the patent cross-license signed with Nortel in 2006."

For more:
- the Wall Street Journal has this article (sub. req.)

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