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Nortel patent grab gets green light from courts

A bid made for more than 6,000 patents owned by now-defunct Nortel has been approved by courts in the USA and Canada.

It means that the deal, reputed to be worth in excess of $4.5 billion, can now go ahead and the consortium of tech giants, which includes Apple, Microsoft, RIM and Nokia, will be able to lock Google and its pesky Android operating system out of the virtual Aladdin's Cave of technology involved.

Apart from hundreds of patents relating to semiconductors, networking and wireless technologies, many of the goodies included in the trove cover 4G cellular networks.

Toronto based Nortel said the patent portfolio "touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets ... including Internet search and social networking," when it went up for grabs after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Google originally offered less than a billion bucks for the patents but was heftily gazumped by the coalition of companies which usually compete with eachother.

Google said it wanted to secure the portfolio to protect its open source Android operating system against nuisance lawsuits from patent holders.

Looks like it's open season on the Droid for now.