Toronto, Jul 12 (IANS): Bankruptcy courts in Canada and the US gave their approval to the $4.5 billion sale of Nortel's 6,000 patents to a six-member consortium comprising Apple and Microsoft.
Apart from Apple and Microsoft, the consortium includes Research In Motion (RIM), Ericsson, Sony and EMC.
Since Nortel had filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the US in 2009, the final approval of bankruptcy courts in the two countries was mandatory for the sale Nortel assets.
The portfolio of 6,000 patents and patent applications relating to cutting-edge, next-generation wireless technology went for far more than three times its expected value before the June 30 auction.
"It's been record-breaking both in term of this case and in the patent industry generally,'' Nortel attorney Lisa Schweitzer said at a joint hearing by the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington (Delaware) and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.
Monday's green signal by the courts ends all possible legal challenges to the sale as demands have been made for an antitrust investigation of the sale as Apple-led consortium snatched the deal from Google.
In fact, the American Antitrust Institute last week sought intervention of the US Department of Justice to stop the deal as it would reduce competition in the the smartphone market.
Google, which was eager to buy the patents, had opened the bid for the patents with an offer of $1.05 billion. It went neck and neck with Apple till the $2-billion mark. After that point, Apple roped in RIM, Microsoft and others to snatch the patents from Google with their $4.5 billion bid.
Since the search engine is currently involved in more than 45 patent lawsuits - the biggest against any major player - it needed Nortel patents very badly to save itself from future lawsuits.
But now its rival control the rights to license this technology to secure royalties and gain market influence in the multi-trillion-dollar technology field.