By Greg Mills

It has just been announced that Apple, Microsoft, Sony, RIM, Ericsson and EMC won the Nortel 6,000 patents up for auction, covering a lot of important technology. Bloomberg reports that the final bid was a staggering 4.5 Billion dollars. The final bid was much higher than any of the analysts had predicted. Google bid $900,000 and lost to Apple and its partners.

The partners had agreed to share the cost of the auction and cross license the patents to all the partners. This leaves Google out and Android out in the cold on important cellular technology. Apple is playing to win the cell phone battle with Google and this auction proves that strategic opportunities do arise where Apple is willing to dig into the piggy bank.

The significance of the patents will be apparent when the Federal lawsuits against all Android handset makers goes to court later this year. Apple has filed patent infringement suits against every company manufacturing Android phones since they use Apple’s patented technology. Having the Nortel 6000 patents in addition to their own patents gives Apple an advantage in patent infringement suits that will certainly be seen in the ongoing battle for the smartphone market, long term