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Google bid $900m for Nortel patents on Monday, as its defence against rising Android litigation. The search giant now needs to compete with Apple, Nokia and Microsoft in an aggressive intellectual property rights (IPR) power play.
When Google emerged as the stalking horse bidder for Nortel's huge patents hoard, it indicated how the search giant is being forced to play the big boys by their own rules, in its bid to dominate the mobile web. Google may come from a happy land of open-source, royalty-free inventions and RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) patent fees, but in the mobile world, the alpha dogs are the ones with huge stores of IPR, which they use to gain power in closed-door bilateral licensing deals, and failing that, to wrong-foot their rivals with litigation.