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Apple-backed patent consortium sues Google, major Android manufacturers

post #1 of 152
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A patent holding company backed by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony, and Ericsson has filed the first round of lawsuits based on patents the group won at auction from seminal telecom company Nortel.

Rockstar
A Rockstar engineer disassembles devices to look for patent infringements | Source: Rockstar via Wired


The company, Rockstar Consortium, on Thursday filed eight patent infringement suits in the Eastern District of Texas against Google, Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, LG, HTC, Pantech, and Asus, according to FOSS Patents. The list of manufacturers represents every major Android OEM apart from Sony, which is a part owner of Rockstar.

AdWords under attack



The case against Google is based on a family of patents covering an "Associative Search Engine," and more specifically contextual advertising within search results, the first of which was filed in 1997 -- the year before Google's inception.

Rockstar alleges in its complaint that Google "has infringed and continues to infringe" seven patents related to "matching search terms with relevant advertising and/or information based on those search terms and other user data." The suit explicitly cites Google's AdWords bid-based targeted advertising system, which is at the heart of Google's search business model and represents the vast majority of the company's corporate revenues.
Rockstar is attacking the source of 98% of Google's revenue
When the patents went up for auction in 2011 following Nortel's bankruptcy, Google was among the initial bidders, winning the stalking horse bid with a $900 million offer. The company eventually bowed out of the race for the treasure trove of intellectual property --?which also includes important patents on 3G and LTE wireless networking --?at $4.4 billion, ceding the portfolio to Rockstar and its $4.5 billion bid.

Google's active participation in the auction is held up as evidence of the patents' applicability to Google's operations, with the complaint saying that "despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe the patents-in-suit."

More trouble for Android OEMs



The manufacturer lawsuits allege infringements against a different set of Nortel patents, ranging from a patent on an "electronic package carrying an electronic component and assembly of mother board and electronic package" to one covering "call trace on a packet switched network."
The lawsuits target only Android devices
According to the complaints --?which FOSS Patents notes are identical in each case --?the manufacturers are accused of direct and indirect infringement due to "one or more of making, using, selling and offering to sell...certain mobile communication devices having a version (or an adaption thereof) of Android operating system." This means Rockstar is not asserting the patents against devices from those manufacturers running Windows Phone, likely thanks to Microsoft's position as a part owner of Rockstar.

Rockstar is seeking permanent injunctions and damages in the cases, though it is still possible that the threat of going to trial against such a deep pool of intellectual property will drive the manufacturers to settle out of court and begin paying licensing fees.

Patent license fees have fast become just another cost of doing business for Android manufacturers, with more than twenty major licensing deals announced in the last few years. It is widely believed that thanks to the agreements, Microsoft makes more money each year from Android than Google does.
post #2 of 152
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A patent holding company backed by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony, EMC, and Ericsson...

EMC has chosen to disassociate themselves from Rockstar, so no longer involved.
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post #3 of 152

That image caption… Wait, really? I love it.

 

Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
EMC has chosen to disassociate themselves from Rockstar.

 

Just as Google has chosen to disassociate itself from its purchase, Motorola?

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post #4 of 152
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That image caption… Wait, really? I love it.


Just as Google has chosen to disassociate itself from its purchase, Motorola?

No actually quite different. 1bugeye.gif
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post #5 of 152
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
No actually quite different. 1bugeye.gif

 

Ah, so where Google is fully responsible for all actions taken by Motorola, EMC is no longer responsible for the actions taken by the Rockstar group. I see.

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post #6 of 152
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ah, so where Google is fully responsible for all actions taken by Motorola, EMC is no longer responsible for the actions taken by the Rockstar group. I see.

Huh? You've seriously confused things TS. While EMC was one of the original group of bidders in the Rockstar Bidco group they decided it was not in their interests to be involved with the subsequent spin-off of Rockstar Consortium, so this would have zero to do with EMC. They apparently wanted no part in it.
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/1/13 at 9:26am
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post #7 of 152
Clearly this is a swipe at Android. Google shouldve been doing what FF is honestly.
post #8 of 152

So isn't Rockstar just another East Texas patent troll?

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post #9 of 152
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Huh?

 

Don’t play dumb.

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post #10 of 152
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Don’t play dumb.

Research a bit before casting aspersions TS. You'd realize right away why what you said made no sense.
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/1/13 at 9:33am
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post #11 of 152
This is interesting from several angles.

(1) I had no idea that the patents in this portfolio included something that struck at the root of Google's profit source. This means Microsoft;s Bing™ may have a chance moving forward.

(2) The cost of giving away Android has just jumped for Google. This impending eventuality may be why Google is downplaying Android and moving their focus to Chrome. I'm not sure that will help all that much, but I can see manufacturers giving up on Android because it's a tainted ingredient to their phone business model. Again, this may play to Microsoft's benefit with licensing their WinPhone 8 OS.

Finally, with Apple recent patent "win" on touch gesturing, Android's days may be numbered as a touch interface device OS. Jobs wins all the Android marbles.
post #12 of 152
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Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

This is interesting from several angles.

(1) I had no idea that the patents in this portfolio included something that struck at the root of Google's profit source. This means Microsoft;s Bing™ may have a chance moving forward.

(2) The cost of giving away Android has just jumped for Google. This impending eventuality may be why Google is downplaying Android and moving their focus to Chrome. I'm not sure that will help all that much, but I can see manufacturers giving up on Android because it's a tainted ingredient to their phone business model. Again, this may play to Microsoft's benefit with licensing their WinPhone 8 OS.

Finally, with Apple recent patent "win" on touch gesturing, Android's days may be numbered as a touch interface device OS. Jobs wins all the Android marbles.

I bet that nothing even remotely close to this will matter, especially the last part.

Actually, it's laughable to even think that.

post #13 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Just as Google has chosen to disassociate itself from its purchase, Motorola?

 

What a bizarre link to try and make.  No, nothing like that, EMC simply aren't involved with Rockstar Consortium any more.  What are you trying to allude to, some kind of wrongdoing on EMC's part?

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post #14 of 152
Go Rockstar! If this works out for Rockstar then Google is going to have a major problem.
post #15 of 152
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Research a bit before casting aspersions TS. You'd realize right away why what you said made no sense.

 

Original statement: Rockstar includes EMC.

Correction: Rockstar does not include EMC.

Addendum: EMC now relates to Rockstar in the same way Google is pretending Motorola relates to them.

 

Geezaloo.

 

Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
What are you trying to allude to, some kind of wrongdoing on EMC's part?

 

Close! 50/50 shot; I suppose it’s not too bad a guess.

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post #16 of 152
Could someone explain how all of these types of cases seems to always end up in the Eastern Texas court? I wasn't aware that companies could choose where to have their cases heard.
post #17 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Original statement: Rockstar includes EMC.
Correction:
Rockstar does not include EMC.

Rockstar Consortium never included EMC. Google plainly owns MM. Not sure how you find the two things related. The mind works in mysterious ways TS. 1smoking.gif

EDIT: Link to excellent Rockstar article from last year at IAM:
http://www.iam-magazine.com/blog/Detail.aspx?g=96bb746a-b0c9-4cca-9e06-b2129be3d054
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/1/13 at 10:04am
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post #18 of 152
Even though Rockstar could not be sued, it is interesting the timing of this lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes after Apple having beaten back SEP-based lawsuits from Google's Motorola and Samsung.

With Apple's touch-based patents affirmed valid, this fight just might become a two-pronged attack using non-SEPs, which gives Apple and hopefully RockStar an advantage that cannot be overcome.
post #19 of 152
Google or Samsung needs to buy blackberry right now I mean now now now
post #20 of 152
Wow, Jobs wasn't kidding when he said he was going "thermonuclear" on them.
post #21 of 152
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Originally Posted by initiator View Post

Could someone explain how all of these types of cases seems to always end up in the Eastern Texas court? I wasn't aware that companies could choose where to have their cases heard.

Because Texas is harsh. There's a reason the saying goes, "Don't mess with Texas" They don't play over there.

post #22 of 152
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Rockstar Consortium never included EMC.

 

Yes. That is the statement you made, here repeated. Very good. What’s your point?

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post #23 of 152

find it hard to believe google would drop out of the bidding on account of money if it could touch them that directly.. still.. if they did f up it seems they will have to pay huge money. it would still probably remain the big business it is anyways, but managing to get a real shot at google has been rare as far as i know. interesting news

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apple user since 1983..

IIe, IIc, 128k, Plus, Se/30, IIci, LC, SI, LCIII, PPC7100, G3, iMac Bondi

Newton MP2000, iPod 10Gb / Touch 4g, iPhone / 3G

PowerBook 170 / G3 Lombard / G4 17" 1GHz

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post #24 of 152

Ugh I hate this stuff. But you can't hate the players, just the game. We need tech patent reform. Before long it's going to be impossible to create new tech without stepping on someone's vague patented concept. 

post #25 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yes. That is the statement you made, here repeated. Very good. What’s your point?

I used to have a pet goldfish.

Thats just as related as EMC/Rockstar is to Google/Motorola.
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post #26 of 152
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
I used to have a pet goldfish.

Thats just as related as EMC/Rockstar and Google/Motorola. 1biggrin.gif

 

"Pepperidge Farms v. Rockstar Inc. ended today, resulting in the cheesy fish snack maker gaining the rights to caffeinate its cookie products.”

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post #27 of 152
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post

So isn't Rockstar just another East Texas patent troll?

I'm sure the fact that patent lawyers sue there for strategic reasons makes patent litigation something of a farce, IMO. Civil justice should be fair and impartial, which means it should NOT matter where the case is tried. But I'm an idealist; I know that it is not.

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post #28 of 152
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Originally Posted by ScottWilson View Post

You can just feel sorry for players this desperate. Between the e-book price fixing scam, and now bottom feeding patent trolling, I'm losing a lot of respect for Apple. And I don't like that. But you can't really look at it any other way. 

Sure you can. The DOJ thing shouldn't have been won as they did not really prove what people think they claim they proved.

There are major differences between rock star and your typical 'patent troll'

Apple does not guide rockstar's day to day decisions.
post #29 of 152
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Originally Posted by ScottWilson View Post

I'm losing a lot of respect for Apple. And I don't like that.

Most fandroids aren't bothered by their rabid disrespect for Apple. Perhaps you need more practice at it. 1smile.gif

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post #30 of 152
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Originally Posted by TheDavid311 View Post

Wow, Jobs wasn't kidding when he said he was going "thermonuclear" on them.

It's not the first time Apple has made a deal with a "patent troll". They did so with Digitude a couple years back.
http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/12/10/apple_accused_of_feeding_intellectual_property_to_patent_troll
http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/09/apple-made-a-deal-with-the-devil-no-worse-a-patent-troll/
It was so egregious that even the normally pro-Apple Mueller came out against it.
https://plus.google.com/+FlorianMueller/posts/Rmh8YYMfSkd

When there's billions in potential smartphone/tablet profits some of the players will go to great lengths to make sure they get their share. For a few it's unabashed "borrowing" of ideas from others' successful products. Some will make very liberal use of the courts and patent offices. Arming patent trolls is apparently seen as a fair weapon too. Many use some combination of all three in their quest for profit.
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/1/13 at 10:59am
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post #31 of 152
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Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Google or Samsung needs to buy blackberry right now I mean now now now

You're assuming that the patent license is transferrable in the case of a company purchase. I'd be surprised if that wasn't made impossible  in the original license.

post #32 of 152
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Most fandroids aren't bothered by their rabid disrespect for Apple. Perhaps you need more practice at it. 1smile.gif

 

At any time I might have fifteen different devices sitting on my table. Some of us don't limit outselves needlessly to one particular vendor because brand loyalty is for idiots, or because what we do for a living demands experience in all popular ecosystems. 

post #33 of 152
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

So isn't Rockstar just another East Texas patent troll?

I'm sure the fact that patent lawyers sue there for strategic reasons makes patent litigation something of a farce, IMO. Civil justice should be fair and impartial, which means it should NOT matter where the case is tried. But I'm an idealist; I know that it is not.

I should have /s'd that. Rockstar is not a typical patent troll. Although, it does not make any actual product, its backers do. I am surprised that they are going on the offense though. Apple does implement some key target marketing in iAds but, they certainly were not doing it before Google. I have a feeling this is going to get messy and probably won't end well for either party.

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post #34 of 152
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Why would you bother with that now when your rabid fanboyism is working so well for you?

 

(And honestly are you this much of an asshole in real life or does internet anonymity bring this out in you?)

 

Plenty of people are afraid to look for the truth. Guess you’re one of them.

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post #35 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

So isn't Rockstar just another East Texas patent troll?

 

 

Yes. They are just patent trolls that work for Apple and Microsoft. 

post #36 of 152
So now people are calling apple a patent troll? I thought that term was reserved for the companies that sue even tho they have no product or intention of ever making one?
post #37 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottWilson View Post

Wow. So Apple and Microsoft are just pathetic patent trolls now. They actually set up a Patent Holding Company to Patent Troll Google. That wreaks of desperation. I remember when Apple had ethics.

Don't be a putz. Apple, like all companies, are affected in one way or another by intellectual property issues. If you don't create and own your own IP, you may be responsible for violating someone's IP. This is a business reality...in every country as a matter of fact.

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post #38 of 152

I like goldfish.

post #39 of 152
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Originally Posted by ScottWilson View Post

At any time I might have fifteen different devices sitting on my table. Some of us don't limit outselves needlessly to one particular vendor because brand loyalty is for idiots, or because what we do for a living demands experience in all popular ecosystems. 

Well, you're just made of money aren't you?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #40 of 152
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Originally Posted by tdknox View Post

I like goldfish.

I like Bitcoinfish.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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