Google sues Rockstar, claiming Apple led patent troll threatens Android and Nexus
Google is trying to save many companies that use the open source Android OS, such as Asus, HTC, Huawei, Pantech, Samsung, LG and ZTE, from having to waste precious financial resources and time, defending themselves in courtrooms. The companies that make up Rockstar include Android rivals such as Apple, BlackBerry and Microsoft. In 2012, Rockstar spent $4.5 billion ($2.5 billion came from Apple) to buy a number of patents owned by Nortel.
Rockstar has no operations and employs Canadian engineers whose sole job is to scour the operations of other companies, looking for something that might infringe on its IP portfolio. Google's filing claims that the patent troll has focused on 100 companies and Rockstar's CEO claims that Facebook, LinkedIn and almost every major tech company is infringing on the patents that it has purchased from Nortel.
Google does not relish the idea of having to spend time and money defending itself and its customers. It is asking the court to rule that the "the Nexus 5, Nexus 7, or Nexus 10 devices sold by Google, directly or indirectly" do not infringe on the seven patents owned by Rockstar and MobileStar. The latter is a shell company that apparently was created to help Rockstar win in court.
The patents owned by Rockstar deal with basic smartphone functions such as "mobile hotspot functionality," and "Messaging and Notification." Still, Rockstar has not been successful trying to license the patents it purchased and now the consortium faces the prospects of losing the $4.5 billion investment made by its members. Unless, of course, it can generate income the good old American way, by suing for it.
But precedent might not be on Google's side. Early this year, a court ruled that Cisco could not sue to prevent its router customers from litigation. Google could find the courts unwilling to allow it to protect its customers from the patent troll.
Rockstar is getting desperate. No one, not even Apple, is happy with having to write off a multi-billion dollar investment. It is this desperation that has Google concerned about the depths that its rivals will go to in order to see some sort of return on the purchase of the Nortel patents.
If you're an amateur lawyer, feel free to view Google's complaint below.
source: Scribd via GigAOM
5. Ravens (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)
Ok... but anyways, I'm really getting annoyed by patent trolls. It's getting out of control.
6. papss (unregistered)
So you hate them all? Thats the way its starting to turn out.
31. rf1975 (Posts: 245; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
No, it not about android or OEM Google is trying to protect. It is it heart of the business (Search) is challenged by the Rockstar. Thats why Google is so much but heated.
2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5794; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
If Google didn't want the patents to be asserted against it, why didn't it outbid the Apple-led group that won the bidding war?
Did Google really think Apple wasn't going to assert the patents? Puhleeease. They are acting like they were born last night.
10. sprockkets (Posts: 1200; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
The patents are worth 1 billion. To apple and MS they are worth an extra 3.5 billion to NOT be in Google's hands.
Joke's on MS and apple if they are declared to be a patent troll with the new patent law being passed.
52. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5794; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Rockstar would be the one who would be subject to the new legislation if it passes. And, that would give Google standing to file suit against Rockstar. Legislation hasn't been signed into law yet, so Google may suffer the same result that Apple got trying to go after Lodsys - bupkis.
12. Kjayhawk (Posts: 288; Member since: 07 Oct 2010)
Well Rock star is made up of like 8 multi billion dollar companies right? So Google really couldn't compete. Plus you are going to have to look it up but when this story first hit You can read that a similar court case appeared to what happened to rock star and Google and it was ruled that the damages can not be more than how much a company purchased the patents for which is 4.5 billion
14. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
Google bid to buy the patents but lost. They couldn't compete with all the companies that trolled together.
17. sprockkets (Posts: 1200; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
And don't forget they paid 12 billion for Moto not much earlier. They can't spare that many billions.
49. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 952; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)
Google was invited to be part of the Rockstar consortium, but they opted out because they wanted the patents for themselves.
41. grahaman27 (Posts: 347; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)
It was a blind auction, they bidded once and did not win.
3. papss (unregistered)
So now google is getting in on the sueing... great..
18. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
It's a defensive maneuver as opposed to what Apple, Microsoft and the rest of the consortium is doing.
29. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
well the only people who have sued google are oracle...
so any action will still be offensive... passively or actively & will enter google into the war
34. papss (unregistered)
Keep tellinv yourself that fandroid... sueing is sueing but nice spin on reality.
38. jroc74 (Posts: 4800; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Killing is also killing....but killing self defense is usually looked at in a different light.
40. papss (unregistered)
Sure.. defense?wow you really need to stop drinking the fanboy koolaid. This is no different than what apple is doing but nice try. They didnt want to pay up and others did. Simple as them being like all cell mfg mentality.
45. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
The consortium bought the patents for their patent trolling needs and offensively went after Google and Android OEMs. Google is now trying to protect itself and its partners against the patent trolling.
48. blazee (Posts: 271; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)
Youre the one who sounds like a fan who wants a damper on android to see your OS rise. They're suing to defend themselves.
53. papss (unregistered)
Just stop .. you sound ridiculous
55. ogre150 (Posts: 22; Member since: 16 Apr 2010)
Google is suing to stop court action in future. I don't think they'll get damages or anything. So it's not the same as Apple suing Samsung for instance. Apple sued to make Samsung pay. Google is suing to keep Rockstar from making companies pay a troll. Completely different.
4. mercorp (Posts: 969; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)
I thought they referred to the maker of gta5...
20. Desmund (Posts: 74; Member since: 01 Nov 2012)
Waiting on someone to say that lol. Although at that point I guess people would be sueing because they made so much money Rockstar that is.
7. N-fanboy (Posts: 538; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)
Don't really care, all are d!cks. C@ckblocking each other.
11. sprockkets (Posts: 1200; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
When did Google, Asus or HTC or LG and others sue apple?
27. Taters (Posts: 3032; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Nokia and Apple fans are delusional. They somehow see Apple and Nokia as the victims when they are the aggressors and cry babies.
35. papss (unregistered)
I expect no less from you.. nice spin on reality.
30. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
HTC, moto, samsung, and nokia all sued apple
i believe nokia was the only one to sue apple before being sued however
44. sprockkets (Posts: 1200; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
That's a big difference. Moto is one that went on the offensive with apple.
13. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 5494; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Merry Christmas folks! Anyone wanna go bowling?
15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Nope. Drinking sounds more fun. Thanks for the offer though.
22. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2189; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
Pretty sure you can do both simultaneously.
16. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)
No, Sony! You too? Google...is your father.
46. grahaman27 (Posts: 347; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)
That is funny, because only 5 years ago that would have sounded absurd.
19. Sniggly (Posts: 7048; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
I was wondering when Rockstar was going to rear its ugly head. This was a sad article to have to read on Christmas Eve.
21. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1202; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
Apple and the nut bunch better be careful. I can easily see Android OEM's just selling hardware and when you get home just download the base OS from Google and the drivers from the OEM. Just like you would a home built windows computer.
Hell, I would prefer it this way.
23. winter_hat (Posts: 103; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
I'm not trying to troll here, but Google literally doesn't do anything well. What do they do well? Maybe Maps and make money...they do those well. Their typical work can be witnessed by the Youtube/Google+ sh*t storm. Total incompetence. Any other company pulls that one, their stock plummets. We bend over and ask Google for more please.
24. Sniggly (Posts: 7048; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
"I'm not trying to troll here..."
Ah, but you are.
25. crazymonkey05 (Posts: 145; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)
Google wanted to unify all their services so you can have one account to rule them all. I personly love the YouTube Google+ merge I think its a great idea but unfortantly the world doesn't.
And on the topic I don't believe Sony has anything to do with the actual lawsuit other than being a part of rockstar. I haven't seen Sony file one patent claim against Google so yea. I believe its just apple and M$ leading the trial
28. DnB925Art (Posts: 242; Member since: 23 May 2013)
Add to the fact that Rockstar only targets Android phones made by the various OEMs (Samsung, HTC, etc.), yet they don't target non-Android phones made by the same OEMs (Samsung and HTC has made phones with Windows OS for example yet those are not on the list even though they supposedly use the same technologies in the patent suit). This is an attack solely against Android by Rockstar.
33. rantao333 (Posts: 237; Member since: 21 May 2013)
its because window / window OS already paid the for it.
i really doubt u had read the article.
32. rantao333 (Posts: 237; Member since: 21 May 2013)
Apparently , google is the patent troll here. google has been given chance to join apple & microsoft to purchased Nortel's patents together. but turn out google rejected the offer. and google greedy enough to try to swallow nortel by his own and end up being out bid by rockstar.
every others companies are paying money to enjoy the patents from Nortel. Only google is not paying a dime and yet using it as it is free.
And now google start to sue these playesr that pay billions of dollar just because he worry that they will threaten his position???
36. papss (unregistered)
You act surprised by this? Bu bu but in the eyes of fandroids google does no wrong.
39. jroc74 (Posts: 4800; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Looking strictly at hypotheticals...
Where has Google got a patent and went on the offensive? Maybe Google didnt wanna be part of whats going on now.
Now they are playing defense.
42. papss (unregistered)
So other mfg paid up for the patent and should get the benefit from it and not google. They're just being ridiculous like others on the way they handle business. You trying to make it look alright is almost pathetic really and i cant believe you would attempt.
51. sprockkets (Posts: 1200; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
Yeah, and Nortel was suing Google for search patents and gui patents, right?
Oh wait, they were in the business of telephony, not patent trolling! Glad you think the patent system works just great when a bunch of companies form a non practicing entity to sue others without any recourse!
54. papss (unregistered)
Your version of the truth is laughable.. thanks
56. sprockkets (Posts: 1200; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
As is your retardedness.. thanks (sic)
50. sprockkets (Posts: 1200; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
Google wasn't offered any chance to join apple + MS, besides what would that have accomplished anyhow.
You are confusing MS bullsht message about joining the consortium of Novell's patents, NOT Nortel's. Google and their partners were outbid.
The patents aren't worth 4.5 billion either.
37. techguyone (Posts: 106; Member since: 18 May 2013)
We should all be very careful here, this kind of thing is unprecedented in history, if other industries did what these smartphone ones are, we'd all be living in caves with zero innovation. Regardless of who did what/who is right/wrong, the fact is that this industry is being stifled by these endless, mostly completely pointless lawsuits, and in the end the real losers will be ... us.
I seriously seriously wish that common sense will prevail and all these nebulous, dubious 'concepts' that are being patented - by anyone. Are revoked, and the anti troll patent laws becoming so strong that it will deter any troll company for trying to use them.THEN perhaps we'll go back to life as it was before 2007, because this is just crap, greedy lawyers milking the system, clearly biassed courtrooms making nonsense of justice, egomaniacal CEO's causing mayhem, it all needs to stop. Full stop.
43. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6499; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
So true. BAN on the GALAXY NEXUS, LG pays M$ for each handset sold. Apple doesn't want to compete because they are afraid of loosing consumers while their stock slowly plummet.