Bloomberg News

Nortel Networks Sues Unit to Keep Patent Documents Secret

February 09, 2012

(Updates with comment from judge in fourth paragraph.)

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Nortel Networks Inc., the bankrupt former maker of telephone equipment, sued its U.K. unit in an effort to keep documents related to the $4.5 billion sale of Nortel’s patents secret.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Wilmington, Delaware, ordered the unit, Nortel Networks UK Ltd., not to make public a group of documents for at least 14 days while the two units try to resolve their dispute about the information.

The unit is involved in a court action in the U.K. and wants to use the documents as part of that case.

“I have not yet seen the documents, but from the descriptions I have received, it appears that a large portion of them contain privileged information,” Gross said in court today.

Last year Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. formed a joint venture called Rockstar Bidco LP, and bought Nortel’s patents for $4.5 billion after outbidding Google Inc. in the biggest patent auction in history.

The bankruptcy case is Nortel Networks Inc., 09-10138, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

--Editors: Charles Carter, Glenn Holdcraft

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware, at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at

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