Microsoft squeaks on Google Nortel sale
Sold company should honour old agreements
Microsoft is worried that any sale of Nortel's patents could endanger the worldwide agreements it had with the company.
Google is offering $900m for the remnants of the company, and its 6,000 patents, and Microsoft is calling for any existing patent agreements to be transferred.
Microsoft warned that any sale would disrupt the development and enhancement of "various existing technologies", Bloomberg reports.
It holds worldwide licences for several Nortel patents.
Ink giant HP is also objecting to the sale on similar grounds: the need to protect existing agreements.
Nokia has also filed similar objections with the court in Delaware. ®
Pot, meet Kettle
That's the trouble with patents!
$900M doesn't even cover the shortfall in the Nortel UK pension fund
When Nortel UK went bust, it left 20,000 employees and former employees uncertain about the future of their pensions, because the Company had failed to adequately fund the pension scheme (to an amount around £1Billion, exact estimates vary)
Don't read much about that in the press (or here) these days.
Gotta love privity
In Westminster law you can transfer ownership of property - but that is independent of agreements. It is called "privity" in contract law.
So this is hilarious - Microsoft might have agreements with Nortel, but it doesn't with Google, and so the transfer of the patents will mean that Google has no responsibilities to Microsoft.
What is amusing is that Microsoft were never a technology group - they were, from the very start, a legal entity using their legal muscle to damage the IT industry (much like Apple). So who gives a flying f@#$ about Microsoft now? I don't - and you don't - if you care about technology!