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Google sues Rockstar, claiming Apple led patent troll threatens Android and Nexus

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Google sues Rockstar, claiming Apple led patent troll threatens Android and Nexus
Apple led Rockstar is a group of tech companies seeking to protect a portfolio of patents that it jointly purchased last year from defunct Canadian tech giant BlackBerry Nortel. On Tuesday, Google announced that it is taking Rockstar to court in an attempt to stop litigation which it says has "placed a cloud on Google’s Android platform," in particular, on Google's Nexus range of devices.

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

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posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:20 5

1. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

My cat's breath smells like cat food.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:26 9

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.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:33 1

6. papss (unregistered)

So you hate them all? Thats the way its starting to turn out.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 01:56

31. rf1975 (Posts: 259; 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.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:22 5

2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; 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.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:55 5

10. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; 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.

posted on 26 Dec 2013, 01:27

52. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; 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.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 21:00

12. Kjayhawk (Posts: 294; 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

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 21:08 7

14. NexusPhan (Posts: 632; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

Google bid to buy the patents but lost. They couldn't compete with all the companies that trolled together.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 21:24 3

17. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; 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.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 22:51

49. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; 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.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 10:17

41. grahaman27 (Posts: 361; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)

It was a blind auction, they bidded once and did not win.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 20:10

47. blazee (Posts: 414; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)

no it wasnt

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:22 3

3. papss (unregistered)

So now google is getting in on the sueing... great..

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 21:30 12

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.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 01:52 3

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

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 05:44

34. papss (unregistered)

Keep tellinv yourself that fandroid... sueing is sueing but nice spin on reality.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 08:50 3

38. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Killing is also killing....but killing self defense is usually looked at in a different light.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 10:11

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.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 13:12 1

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.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 20:15

48. blazee (Posts: 414; 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.

posted on 26 Dec 2013, 10:13

53. papss (unregistered)

Just stop .. you sound ridiculous

posted on 26 Dec 2013, 11:31 1

55. ogre150 (Posts: 23; 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.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:26 13

4. mercorp (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)

I thought they referred to the maker of gta5...

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 21:40 1

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.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:37 5

7. N-fanboy (Posts: 543; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)

Don't really care, all are d!cks. C@ckblocking each other.

posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:46 1

9. corporateJP (Posts: 2458; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


posted on 24 Dec 2013, 20:56 1

11. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)

When did Google, Asus or HTC or LG and others sue apple?

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 01:27 1

27. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; 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.

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 05:46

35. papss (unregistered)

I expect no less from you.. nice spin on reality.

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