Nortel went bankrupt in 2009. In 2011, it held an auction for its massive patent portfolio. The winners of the auction were Apple, Microsoft, Sony, RIM, and others, who bought the patents for $4.5 billion as a consortium named Rockstar Bidco. 

http://m.slashdot.org/story/193739

Great. They want to stop Google from being a search engine. Patents are really good for innovation. Not.