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Financial

The LTE Scraps From Nortel's Table

Mobile patent hawk Wi-LAN Inc. (Toronto: WIN) (Nasdaq: WILN) isn't the only company interested in acquiring Nortel Networks Ltd. 's Long Term Evolution (LTE) patents.

Canadian patent licensing firm Mosaid Technologies Inc. is reportedly also ready to bid on Nortel's next-generation wireless portfolio. "We certainly do have an interest in those," Mosaid CEO John Lindgren told Reuters.

It emerged last week that Ottawa-based Wi-LAN is interested in Nortel's LTE patent portfolio. The company has already bought up WiFi- and WiMax-related patents in order to license the intellectual property (IPR) to vendors. (See LTE Watch: Verizon Promises Big Footprint.)

Nortel kept its LTE patent portfolio even as it sold the rest of its assets off last year. JP.MorganChase analyst Ehud Gelblum said back in June 2009 that the patents have the potential to earn up to $2.9 billion in royalties over the years. (See Nortel's LTE Patent Goldmine.)

Doubtless, this is why patent licensing firms are now expressing interest in Nortel's IPR. They may not, however, be the only companies interested in the patents.

Back when the Canadian government was holding hearings on Nortel's sale of its wireless unit to Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), BlackBerry co-CEO Mike Lazaridis described the LTE patents as "a national treasure that Canada must not lose." Last summer, the BlackBerry maker put together a $1 billion bid for Nortel's wireless unit, hoping to snag the patents as well. (See Why RIM Would Bid on Nortel and RIM CEO Calls Nortel LTE Patents a 'National Treasure'.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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