“Apple Inc., Intel Corp. and Ericsson AB are among the technology giants that will vie with Google Inc. to buy a trove of patents from the bankrupt Canadian telecom-equipment maker, Nortel Networks Corp., people familiar with the matter said,” Thomas Catan and Mike Spector report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Also accepted as a qualified bidder: RPX Corp., a San Francisco, Calif., firm that defensively buys up patents on behalf of other companies to stop them from being used against them by investors,” Catan and Spector report. “Google already received antitrust clearance from the U.S. Justice Department for its bid, according to people familiar with the matter. The delay in the auction date will allow other bidders a chance to advance their own discussions with Justice, those people said, potentially eroding Google’s advantage due to the antitrust clearance.”

Catan and Spector report, “The trove of 6,000 patents cover key swaths of the high-tech world, including Wi-Fi, social networking and a fourth-generation wireless technology now being deployed called LTE. The Justice Department and many in the tech world are concerned that the winning bidder could potentially abuse the patents to hobble rivals… Apple and Intel have been accepted as separate qualified bidders and plan to compete for the patents at Nortel’s looming bankruptcy-court auction, said people familiar with the matter.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Nortel delays patent auction one week citing significant interest – June 16, 2011
RIM looks to outbid Apple, Google, and Nokia for Nortel’s patent treasure trove – April 18, 2011
Google bids $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents in quest to boost patent portfolio – April 4, 2011
Apple reportedly bidding for Nortel patent portfolio – December 13, 2010