• Joint Venture of Microsoft and Apple Win 6,000 Nortel Patents in Bankruptcy Auction

    A joint venture of Apple and Microsoft, called Rockstar Bidco LP, won permission from bankruptcy court to purchase the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks Corp. for $4.5 billion, outbidding Google in the biggest patent auction in history.

    In a joint hearing on June 11, 2011, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Delaware and Ontario Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Morawetz in Toronto approved the portfolio sale. Over 6,000 patents and applications related to Internet and wireless technology are in the portfolio.

    Nortel started selling its businesses after it filed for bankruptcy in 2009, raising approximately $3 billion before the patent auction. The patent portfolio was Nortel’s last major asset to sell and will boost creditor recoveries.

    The winning joint venture group includes Research in Motion and Sony Corp as well as Apple and Microsoft.

    The auction had 19 rounds of bidding and opened with a bid from Intel Corp. Before the auction began, Google signed a contract to be the stalking-horse bidder with a guaranteed offer of $900 million. Intel exceeded Google’s offer, entitling the search engine company to a breakup fee of $25 million plus expenses.

    Apple initially was not part of the Rockstar group, but joined after five rounds of bidding. Intel dropped out, only to join with Google and stayed in the auction up to the 19 th round of bidding when they lost out to Rockstar Bidco.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyer

  • Singer of “I Believe I Can Fly” Brought Down by Foreclosure

    Award-winning R&B artist R. Kelly is facing a $2.9 million foreclosure suit on his mansion in Olympia Fields.

    The music artist has not made a payment on his mortgage since June 2010 according to a complaint filed by J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A. in Cook County Circuit Court. The bank filed the lawsuit in June 2011.

    The mansion is a two-story house on a 3.7-acre site. Included in the home are six full bathrooms, seven half-baths and a four garage, as listed by the Cook County Assessor’s website.

    Mr. Kelly constructed the 11,140-square-foot home in 2000, but has not lived there for over a year according to an individual familiar with his movements. The source said that payments were stopped in an attempt to force the bank to negotiate a modification of the loan.

    At issue is the current appraisal amount on the home. The mansion appraised for $5.2 million in 2009, but fell 26% to $3.8 million in 2010. The home is now worth less than the debt, according to the source.

    The current principal amount due is over $2.9 million. Not included in the debt is unpaid interest, which is accruing at the rate of $251 a day, and various related charges from the bank.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago foreclosure attorney