Research in Motion is considering topping Google's $900 million bid for thousands of patents held by Nortel Networks, the telecommunications company that filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
The maker of BlackBerry devices is considering whether to bid alone or make a joint bid, Bloomberg News reported, citing people close to the matter.
Google earlier entered a so-called stalking horse agreement with Nortel that set a minimum bid.
The portfolio includes about 6,000 patents and patent applications for wireless, data networking, high-speed Internet and other technologies.
Nortel was once one of the largest private employers in the Triangle, and many of its patents involve at least some work done at its Research Triangle Park campus. Many projects involved workers at multiple Nortel locations worldwide.
RIM is based in Canada but recently opened a research office in Cary that employs 200 people.
Google made its bid partly in an effort to defend against patent litigation because owning a large portfolio can create a defense against frivolous lawsuits. Nortel's patents also could help Google expand in open-source and communications technologies.
Nortel agreed to pay Google a breakup fee of $25 million if another bidder wins the proposed auction, Bloomberg News has reported, citing court papers.
The collection of patents is the last major asset of Nortel, which has been selling various divisions to repay creditors.