Nortel: Two more thoughts

We’re having a pretty good discussion about Nortel over here, as we try to decide whether Roger Martin’s stern lecture in Monday’s Globe about How The World Really Works is, you know, reality-based. Results so far are inconclusive. Meanwhile, two more thoughts, of perhaps varying orders of seriousness, on this whole business.

• Does Research In Motion really want to be in the business of arguing for national preference for tech firms and their intellectual property? RIM operates in 195 countries. It has already sought growth through takeovers of strategic firms, and while the case that comes most readily to mind, Certicom, was Canadian, RIM will surely want to buy out promising smaller firms abroad from time to time. So it maybe shouldn’t be arguing now, in Canada, that such takeovers should be forbidden.

• Don’t “the Nortel patents” function as a perfect MacGuffin in this story? As the Hitchcock scholars among you know, a MacGuffin is that rare and prized object that everyone desires so much it drives the plot of a movie. It’s best if its nature isn’t explained too specifically. It’s just…the thing everyone wants. The Lost Ark. The Maltese Falcon. The oscillation overthruster. The briefcase. The Nortel patents. By God, Smithers, don’t you see? We’ve got to get our hands on the Nortel patents before the Swedes do….

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