jbrodkin writes: "Microsoft already has full rights to use the 6,000 Nortel patents that Google is paying $900 million for, officials in Redmond say. Microsoft and Nortel signed a patent cross-license agreement in 2006 that gives Microsoft "a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to all of Nortel's patents." Google is trying to purchase Nortel's patent portfolio as a defensive measure to prevent Google from being sued. Microsoft hasn't stepped in to block the sale, as some expected, but that may simply be because Microsoft has no need to."
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