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Microsoft Seeking to Alter Nortel Patent Sale Terms

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Jun 13, 2011, 8:36 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft today submitted a filing with the Delaware bankruptcy court overseeing the auction of Nortel's patents. Microsoft objects to the current terms of the patent auction, and it claims to have "worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to all of Nortel's patents" according to a deal it struck with the company in 2006. Nortel said that Google, which has placed a $900 million bid on the patents, has agreed to honor the existing agreements that Nortel made concerning the 6,000 patents available. Microsoft believes that language should be added to the terms of sale that would make the existing agreements "enforceable against the purchasers of the transferred patents." HP, Motorola, and Nokia have also filed objections to the terms of the sale. Nortel is selling the patents to repay creditors as part of its bankruptcy settlement. Other companies, including Apple, Sony Ericsson and possibly RIM, are expected to participate in the auction later this month.

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