Google was sued this past week for $2B by Oracle for patent infringement on the Oracle JAVA patents. How much would just ONE key patent on some basic JAVA technology be worth to Google? I would estimate it would be worth more than $2B since they could avoid the cost of litigation and the threat of a $2B decision.
Companies sign cross licensing agreements to avoid mutual self-destruction through lawsuit.
Intel is "light" in the telecommunications patents. These patents would be a nuclear deterrent against patent infringement lawsuits. Google is very shallow in the patent area and will be agreessive. Apple has much bucks and will be agressive.
The seller (Nortel bankrupcy judge) has dictated the terms. I think they have bundled ALL the patents together. The bottom, lowest bid so far is the $900mil seed bid from Google. The upper limit will probably be the price of buying a similarly patent rich company. IMO, That would be in the range of $10B or so.
Nortel went bankrupt. The funds from the patent sale will satisfy more senior level debt holders first. Depending on the amount of debt, there "might" be left over funds to divide among the common shareholders. The common shareholders get last.