Friday, November 1, 2013

Apple Backed Rockstar Patent Consortium Sues Google and Samsung Over Nortel Patents

The Rockstar patent consortium consisting of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony has sued Google with patents purchased from Nortel for $4.5 billion, reports FOSS Patents.

It appears that efforts to license the patents to Google have failed and at least eight lawsuits have been filed in the Eastern District of Texas: separate actions against Google, Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, LG, HTC, Pantech, and ASSUTeK. Foss Patents notes that Google's $4.4 billion bid for the patents could be a serious problem for the company as this validates the portfolio in a commercially meaningful way.

There are two categories of lawsuits. A lawsuit against Google's core business -- its search engine -- involves different patents (all from the same family of associative search engine patents, which goes back to the time before Google was even founded!) than the seven lawsuits against certain Google hardware partners. Google has been proud of its own search engine patents, including the patent without which Google might not even exist today (the PageRank patent) or at least not be a monopolist. It now has to respect the work Nortel did in this area and which Google built on. It will have to pay up because Congress is not going to bail it out. The Rockstar Consortium is a co-plaintiff in all eight cases (Google and the OEM cases). Against Google, it is joined by its subsidiary NetStar Technologies, and by another subsidiary, MobileStar Technologies, against the device makers.

Rockstar and MobileStar are seeking a permanent injunction over the above patents named. More specifics can be found at the link below...

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