Nortel Networks Corp., the bankrupt Canadian maker of telecommunications equipment, is postponing the auction of its patent portfolio by one week, until June 27, citing “the significant level of interest” in the sale.

Google Inc. has said it plans to bid $900 million in cash for the collection of 6,000 patents and patent applications. Google says it wants the patents to defend itself against patent suits from other companies.

Other possible bidders include Apple Inc., Research In Motion Ltd. (maker of the BlackBerry) and telecom equipment maker LM Ericsson AB.

Ontario-based Nortel has been selling its operations piece by piece since it filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the U.S. in January 2009.

Nortel’s statement: “Nortel Networks Corporation announced that for reasons relating to the significant level of interest in its approximately 6,000 patents and patent applications, it is adjourning the commencement of the auction for the sale of such assets from June 20, 2011 to June 27, 2011 .”

Nortel once employed some 8,000 people at a campus in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.