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Microsoft Corp. Will Have Lawyers on Hand to Guard Secrets in Nortel Networks Case

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Creditors have been unable to resolve their differences after more than a year of talks and litigation. According to Bloomberg News, U.S., Canadian and U.K. creditors will fight over how to divide the cash raised through a series of auctions after what was once North America’s largest telephone-equipment maker, Nortel Networks Corp., went bankrupt in 2009. Nortel put its units under the jurisdiction of U.S., European and Canadian courts.

Bloomberg News has reported that Microsoft Corp. will have their lawyers on hand to guard secrets surrounding more than 6,000 patents that it teamed up with Apple Inc. and Sony Corp. to buy for $4.5 billion. Nortel filed for bankruptcy after losing almost $7 billion since 2005. The company said in court papers that at its height in 2000, it had reported $30 billion in annual revenue, had a market capitalization of $250 billion and employed almost 93,000 people.

  
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A senior analyst with CRT Capital Group Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, Kevin Starke, said in a phone interview that, “The U.S.-Canada fight on the patents will be the main part of the trial.” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross has agreed to allow sensitive material to be blacked out. An attorney for Stockholm-based Ericsson, Stephen J. Shimshak, said at a pretrial hearing last week that “We not only bought those patents and those assets,” that according to a report by Bloomberg News, Shimshak said, “We also bought a lot of other information that is valuable in the marketplace.”

Image credit: www.business.financialpost.com

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