In the tech world, the lifeblood of companies big and small is often patents. Even if a company isn't using a patent they own, they can license the tech to other firms or sue willy nilly to make money off patented tech that other companies are using. Canadian telecom firm Nortel Networks filed bankruptcy a while back and part of the filing was the selloff of many of the patents that the company owned.
The patents have been said to be potentially able to change the balance of power in the telecom industry and have drawn some very big names to the bidding war for the patent blocks including Google and Apple. Nortel holds over 4000 patents and has divided the patents up into sections covering different technologies for bidding. The patents are grouped into six "buckets" reports Reuters.
Reuters reports that one round of bidding for the patents has been conducted and that the final round is due within "weeks" to see who will ultimately walk away with the patent treasure trove. The patents where the bidding will be most serious will be the ones that cover LTE with companies like Apple, RIM and Motorola expected to bid. Nortel was once worth $250 billion and had over 90,000 workers. The patents up for auction include seven of the 105 key patent families that cover LTE technology that are considered essential to LTE.