By WRAL Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Nortel Networks has obtained court approval this week to accept a $900 million bid from Google for the entirety of its remaining patent portfolio.

The former network equipment maker announced in April that it was planning to sell about 6,000 patents, either issued or applied for, in the field of wired and wireless digital communications.

Google’s bid was the result of several confidential rounds of bidding that also involved other companies.

The approval, from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, does not necessarily mean Google will walk off with the patent assets.

It made a so-called “stalking horse” bid, effectively setting the minimum asking price in an auction for the assets scheduled to take place on June 20. Rival bidders will have to submit initial offers by June 20 in order to qualify.

Nortel has been slowly selling off its assets since filing for protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in January 2009, following a failed attempt to restructure the company without court protection.

Ericsson paid a little more than $1 billion for the company’s CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) wireless division in 2009, while Avaya paid just under $1 billion for its enterprise networking business.

Nortel announced in late March that it also will sell Microsoft 666,624 IPv4 addresses, a commodity now in high demand as network operators around the world begin to run short.

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