News emanating from the FT that search engine software firm Google is in the throes of snapping up some US$900 million worth of paper, the value put on a pile of intellectual property and patents in the rusty filing cabinets of moribund mobile telecom vendor Nortel is a big surprise indeed.
Surprise? Indeed. Nortel was never renowned for its pioneering smartphones, more for its base stations and other infrastructure hardware.
Said to be part of a stalking horse strategy to try to forestall counter-litigation from other smartphones vendors, the oddness of the move may be more to circumstance than calculated strategy.
Apparently, the Nortel docuemnts for patent and IP have been up for grabs since the middle of last year with no takers, so the move now may be that that’s all that was available.
That said, the fact that it’s Nortel is even more bizarre. The Canadian former-bellwether of mobile switches and the like was never a big player in handsets, let alone smart ones, so quite why their documents are suddenly so valuable is moot.
Had the offer been for some or all of IP and patents belongiong to a Nokia, an Ericsson or even another lesser handset vendor with aspirations then it could be quite plausible, but Nortel?
Someone could be just about to make a billion dollar ballsup.