Here we go again: Microsoft and Apple-owned company is suing Google, Samsung, HTC, LG and others

Here we go again: Microsoft and Apple-owned company is suing Google, Samsung, HTC, LG and others
Just when we thought things were getting too quiet on the patent front, we have a new development that is threatening to obliterate anything we've seen this far in terms of its scale. Apple and Microsoft-owned company Rockstar has filed a series of lawsuits against Google and its Android partners, including Asustek, HTC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Pantech, Samsung and ZTE. According to Rockstar, these all infringe on a total of 14 different patents it holds.

Rockstar Bidco, a consortium that includes companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sony, BlackBerry and Ericsson was formed back in 2011 with the aim of acquiring the vast patent portfolio of Nortel, a company which in its hay days employed nearly 100,000 people. The consortium had one big rival for the patent cache, Google, and it is now becoming obvious why the search giant wanted Nortel bad enough to offer up to $4.4 billion before dropping out of the race.

Seven of these patents strike at the very core of what made Google, and by far its biggest revenue stream: its search engine and advertising. The earliest of those dates to 1997, a year before Google was even founded, and AdWords in particular is going to be under fire.

In terms of the Android OEMs, the alleged patent infringements range from hardware, through graphical interface and the navigating of it, down to some network protocols.

This is purely speculative, but a number of people consider Google's subsequent Motorola acquisition to be related to the loss of Nortel's treasure troves of patents (about 6,000 of those!). The idea being that apart from getting its very own hardware company, it's also getting ownership of Motorola's vast portfolio of intellectual property. Google was probably hoping that such a situation would lead to a stalemate, as both sides would have more than enough valid lawsuits against each other. Doesn't seem like it, and the tricky part is that Google can't actually counter-sue the way Samsung did with Apple, since Rockstar doesn't really have any operations other than, apparently, patent trolling. Rockstar is technically an independent organization from Apple, Microsoft and the rest, though it's not too hard to imagine that Google might decide to go for a counter-attack.

The scale of this new development is impossible to gauge just yet (and probably not for a while, as these things always go down slowly), but there's the possibility of it dwarfing Apple's $1 billion worth of victory against Samsung in recent months. Unfortunately for Google, it'll have a pretty hard time defending itself in court, seeing as how close it was to actually assimilating Nortel's intellectual assets, and for a price, too. Rockstars lawyers aren't blind to this fact, and are reportedly specifically mentioning this in their complaint.

More info as we get it, folks.

source: ArsTechnica

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122 Comments

1. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

Get those effing thieves Apple! They'll never learn otherwise! :D

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

1) You didn't read the article 2) You don't know what patents are involved 3) You're supporting patent trolling if you agree with this

14. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

+1 Obviously RoyalPayne is one of those people heading directly to the comments section

24. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

It's not patent trolling. It's just desserts. Google deserves these lawsuits. Those 1st class f*cktards at Google must be kicking themselves in the head for being greedy and stupid! This is completely self-inflicted.

27. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I honestly wonder how much Apple pays you to write such hate on Android and Google. Your hate is beyond more than I have imagined.

29. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

How much do they pay you to praise and advertise them?

34. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Please explain/show me how I advertise Google or Android. I'll stay right here and wait. Oh and btw, I get my check from my job today. What about you?

42. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

From samsung? R u one of those ppl who make $4500/week working from home that i see in google ads?

83. jacko1977

Posts: 428; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

i praise and advertise them coz its the best os out

109. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

The best? Looks like someone is being paid. None of those mobile OS is the best. Every OS have their advantages and drawbacks. There's something that iOs wins or even the Android wins. They have different experience and customer segmentation. Be a smart user!

32. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I deal with facts. Even Google admitted they f*cked up. Did you read the discussion between the Google GC complaining about being outbid and then the MS counsel responding not only did Google walked away from the consortium, Google decided to bid against the consortium only to lose. I will find you the links. You can't make this sh*t up.

40. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Okay PapaSmurf, here's the blog about Google crying about how they lost the Nortel patents. http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/patents-and-innovation.html?m=1

45. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Here's MS' response to the blatant lies by Google. http://mybroadband.co.za/news/cellular/31014-microsoft-responds-to-google-“bully”-claims.html Google said F*ck You to the consortium. So nice of MS to set the record straight. Again, I deal with facts. After losing the Nortel patents, Google overpays to buy Moto.

54. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

61. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

Your kinda right... Rockstar has got a solid case against these companies. All google can do is argue that these patents are too broad or wait till the government steps in to fix this patent trolling. Also Forbes wrote a great article about this here is just a snippet: Google cannot say that the patents are not valuable since they tried to bid for them themselves: ergo, they must be worth to Google at least what Google was willing to offer for them. Myself, if I were defending against this idea, I’d say that sure, but they also cannot be more valuable than what we were willing to pay for them either: and nor can they be more valuable than what was actually paid for them (this idea is being asserted in another patent suit right now: a patent cannot be worth more than Intellectual Ventures actually paid for it). Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/11/01/this-is-serious-googles-being-sued-over-search-patents-not-just-android-or-smartphone-ones/

62. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 883; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

LOL... Ur brains must be in your knees... You calling Google "Greedy"?? What would you say Apple who produce same device every year and sell at double the Nexus prices... You get nothing at double the price of iDevices.... You think you are smart.. Think again... If you can...

87. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

You are being unctuous. Facts are independent of where you are smart or dumb. I can only point out Google spent billions to acquire Moto, a money-losing OEM, after they lost the Nortel patents. The greedy part was how Google had a golden opportunity to work with the consortium, and instead try to win all the patents for themselves.

114. GoGoGalaxyNexus

Posts: 80; Member since: Nov 01, 2013

Google stole innovation from apple. That's the only patent apple could not get with bribes

60. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 883; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Dont bother about him.. he is a "Royal-Pain" in the ass".. He is rolling on every Android article...

88. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I deal with facts, and I thorough enjoy pointing out facts about the android ecosystem that the android camp hate to see in the open. I understand these facts are embarrassing, but people should get to see the truth.

99. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

So dealing in "facts" means you have an undying love for a corporation? One that makes a pretty lousy product, might I add. I'm all for innovation, but apple has none. For all my vitriol towards MS for their WP7/8 abortion, at least they have built something. Apple just bought and marketed their way to top. Heck, without the ipod's success, the iphone would have failed out of the gate. They built a market around the ipod and that was where MS failed with WinMo. (Which I actually miss at times) So please go away.

103. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I do not think calling anyone "1st class f*cktards, greedy and stupid!" can be counted as "facts", it´s more on the "hate" and "fanboyism" side of the spectrum. It´s merely opinion, bashing and hating. So at least have the decency of no calling it "facts"

6. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Yup! Apple is the granf theft. Copy shamelessly and claim that they invented the stolen idea. Only Apple fans would blindly worship them.

11. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

grand* thief* The Rockstar branch includes several other companies other than Apple I hope you know...

16. Reality_Check

Posts: 277; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

It does own a large stake in that venture, but it helps that no company owns a controlling interest in Rockstar.

59. Sauce unregistered

He's just another person who only sees the words "Apple" and "sues" and goes straight to comment.

73. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

No body can go about doing their business without infringing a patent these days. I am sick of it.

100. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

That's my point. You can't even better a process anymore because of "infringement". Of course it is going to be similar, you are building on it. Not to mention, essential functions should not be patentable. I would almost be willing to go out on a limb and say software shouldn't be patentable. That would be like patenting the "cosine" function. At some point we have to give.

85. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Their spaceship campus design is some copy of a Turkish fish market design ...

56. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lol RP, that was funny man.

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