Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Google’

UPDATE: Google bids $900M for Nortel’s patent portfolio

Posted by sweens on April 6, 2011

Published on April 4, 2011
Elizabeth Howell

Google Inc. will be the stalking horse bidder for Nortel Network Corp.’s patent portfolio, the last piece of lucrative business standing after the former Ottawa telecom titan went bankrupt in 2009.

The sale, should it pass the muster of United States and Canadian regulatory authorities, would involve around 6,000 patents and patent applications spanning wired, wireless and digital communication technologies, Nortel stated in a release.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to acquire one of the most extensive and compelling patent portfolios to ever come on the market,” stated George Riedel, Nortel’s chief strategy officer and president of business units. 

The bid will go through both the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware along with a request to let other “qualified bidders” submit their offers, Nortel stated. The firm aims to hold the auction in June.

When reached by OBJ, Ottawa patent portfolio firms Wi-LAN Inc. and MOSAID separately said they would not comment on whether they would submit bids.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, which has 900 employees in Ottawa, is also pegged as a potential bidder. The Waterloo-based firm did not immediately respond to a query from OBJ.

In a statement on its official blog, Google said that patent lawsuits, an exploding business of late, may “stifle innovation” without reform. The California search-engine firm has already been named in several patent infringement lawsuits in the past year, including from firms Gemalto, NTP Inc. and Oracle.

As such, Google is looking to acquire Nortel’s portfolio to guard against such action in the future. 

“If successful, we hope this portfolio will not only create a disincentive for others to sue Google, but also help us, our partners and the open source community — which is integrally involved in projects like Android and Chrome — continue to innovate,” stated Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice-president and general counsel.

“In the absence of meaningful reform, we believe it’s the best long-term solution for Google, our users and our partners.”

A few weeks ago, Microsoft Corp. picked up around 666,000 web addresses from Nortel that use the now-defunct IPv4 technology.

The $7.5-million deal will allow Microsoft to use these addresses without needing to upgrade to the new standard, IPv6.

The Ottawa tech giant, formerly known as Bell Northern Research, once made up the bulk of the Toronto Stock Exchange at the height of its powers, with a $366-billion market capitalization in 2000.

From that dizzying high, the 95,000-employee firm fell hard from the tech boom as the demand for traditional telecommunications products fell, and several accounting scandals shook Nortel’s reputation.

Nortel filed for creditor protection in January 2009 when its stock price, once trading for $1,600 a share, was at a nickel. Its stock was delisted immediately afterwards.

It has been selling off pieces of its business, as well as its former Carling Avenue property, ever since.

NORTEL SALES

Other major asset sales of Nortel in the past two years:

– March 2009: Israel’s Radware picks up Nortel’s data-switching division for $17.7 million.

– July 2009: Nortel sells its wireless assets to Ericsson for $1.13 billion, and its enterprise solutions business to Avaya Inc. for US$475 million.

– October 2009: Hitachi Corp. buys Nortel’s next-generation packet core network component assets for US$10 million.

– November 2009: Nortel sells its GSM business to Ericsson and Kapsch for US$103 million, and its optical unit to Ciena for $769 million.

– December 2010: Ericsson buys Nortel’s Chinese joint venture for US$50 million.

– February 2010: Nortel directly sells its carrier business to GENBAND for $182 million.

– April 2010: LM Ericsson buys Nortel’s share of its Korean joint venture with LG Electronics for US$242 million.

– September 2010: Swedish wireless giant Ericsson buys Nortel’s multi-switch business for US$65 million. Avaya purchases Nortel’s enterprise solutions unit for US$915 million.

– October 2010: Public Works buys the 370-acre Nortel campus for $208 million.

– March 2011: Nortel sells around 666,000 iPv4 web addresses to Microsoft for US$7.5 million.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2011-04-04/article-2398768/UPDATE-Google-bids-900M-for-Nortels-patent-portfolio/1

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RIM faces tough challenge to impress at annual symposium

Posted by sweens on April 29, 2010

The heat is on BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion as the company heads into its annual industry showcase of new products and services in what will perhaps be the most competitive year yet for smartphones.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company opens a three-day annual showcase on Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., and it’s expected to update some devices, add new products and partnerships, and perhaps offer a few surprises.

There are rumours that RIM will announce an updated web browser, designed to compete with Apple’s popular iPhone, and perhaps even a new operating system.

“In the evolution of the company, this is going to be a very important year, for sure,” said Neeraj Monga, an analyst for Veritas Investment Research Corp.

“People are either going to give credit to the company that it can out-compete and out-innovate Apple, or they’re going to give up and say ‘BlackBerry had a great run, but it’s another one of those technology businesses that has matured and just cannot keep up with its innovative competitors.’”

Whether this year is literally such a sink-or-swim scenario for RIM is debatable, but it’s hard to deny the company is facing some of its fiercest competition yet.

In the past year, both the iPhone and Google’s Android smartphones have gained notable share in North America’s smartphone market, an area that was once clearly dominated by RIM’s BlackBerry products.

While RIM was able to add on its solid base within the business and government communities by adding consumer-friendly features to various BlackBerry models, RIM has been under plenty of scrutiny.

Critics say RIM has been slow to develop a new web browser for its devices that can compete with some of the more user-friendly designs on the market.

However, the highly competitive market is more complex than simply a new browser, as smartphone pioneer Palm learned last year when it unveiled a new browser design to critical raves.

Palm’s stock has fallen to multi-year lows, and recent reports have suggested that Palm has hired Goldman Sachs to help shop the company to potential buyers for about US$1.1 billion.

Despite the turbulence in smartphones, which usually include keys for text entry as well as phone calls, BlackBerrys remain the dominant smartphone in North America, and among the biggest sellers globally.

Broadpoint AmTech analyst Mark McKechnie said there are two ways to digest the company’s position in the market.

“They’re certainly showing tremendous growth outside of the U.S. as they bring smartphones to lower price points,” he said from Orlando, where he planned to attend the symposium.

“We need to see them bring the fight back here to the U.S. and regain their positioning at the high-end (or higher-priced devices).”

While most of RIM’s plans will not be unveiled until the conference gets underway, the company offered up its usual tease of product announcements ahead of the launch.

The highlights included a 3G version of its Pearl device and a BlackBerry Bold that works on CDMA network carriers.

Most of the most-anticipated announcements are expected when co-CEO Mike Lazaridis delivers a keynote address during the conference. The company’s stock price will likely show whether investors are impressed.

On Monday morning, RIM’s stock was down 80 cents to $69.78 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, off a 52-week high of 95 and low of $58.64.

In an interview ahead of the conference, co-CEO Jim Balsillie defended the company’s position on the market.

“Wind the clock back and I can give you 10 other companies that were put forward that were just overwhelmingly formidable for us to even consider competing against,” Balsillie said.

“There’s always somebody that somebody’s going to put out.”

By David Friend, The Canadian Press

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-04-26/article-1039167/RIM-faces-tough-challenge-to-impress-at-annual-symposium/1

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So I ‘GOOGLEd’ myself…

Posted by sweens on March 24, 2010

The great thing about having my blog hosted through WordPress is that it tells me what search strings people have used to eventually lead them to my blog.  So I thought I would try one out and I ‘GOOGLEd’ my own name.  I was happy to see that my blog was now the first search GOOGLE was able to display. 

I think I am going to count this as a small victory in the world of blogging.  Others might refer to is as ‘egosurfing’ but I assure that my intentions for ‘GOOGLing’ myself were not to boost my own ego.

Some would suggest that searching yourself frequently is a good thing to monitor the view you have created for yourself on the web.  I know when I searched my name the options for ‘Tom Sweeney’ were endless as I am clearly not the only person with this name but there are many people with this name on Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, ZoomInfo, etc.

Try it – let me know what you find…

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