Apple, Google and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) are competing to buy some of the 4,000 patents set to be auctioned off by recently bankrupted Nortel Networks.
According to Reuters, Apple and Google have started a private bidding war in order to acquire Nortel's 3G and 4G technology patents, said to be worth around $1 billion.
Nortel Networks, once a Canada-based telecommunications giant with over 90,000 employees, filed for bankruptcy in January 2009 and is currently selling off its assets to pay back creditors.
Some of the patents set to be auctioned are related to Long Term Evolution, or 4G wireless technology, which is crucial for Apple, Google and RIM's wireless business line. According to unnamed sources cited by Reuters, Motorola is also eager to acquire some of the patents.
The Nortel patents have been categorised into six 'buckets', with each bucket containing patents to technologies related to everything from PCs to optical data.