As Nortel Patent Sale Approaches, Intel Reportedly Wades Into The Fray

As we approach the extended date of the Nortel patent sale, reports of further interested companies are continuing to emerge. The latest is that Intel (NSDQ: INTC) is among those that will bid for the trove of 6,000 wireless patents, with bids starting at $900 million.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Intel — along with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC), patent-owner RPX, and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) — are among the group of companies that will bidding for the patents come June 27.

Google’s initial “stalking horse” bid earlier this year set a base price of $900 million for the patents, which cover areas as varied as LTE technology, social media and WiFi. The auction, originally scheduled for last week, was moved back to June 27, apparently to accommodate the growing list of interested parties.

The WSJ notes, citing unnamed sources, that Intel is among the group of bidders, which could hint at a strategic move by the company to focus more on wireless products, specifically in the area of processing chips for mobile devices.

It is unclear, too, whether fellow Canadian mobile company RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) is also involved in the process. Mike Lazaridis, one of RIM’s co-CEOs, had said he wanted to hold on to the patents as a “national treasure”, writes the WSJ, although it may not have the funds to follow through on that at the moment.