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Apple's Rockstar patent consortium denied request to transfer Google suit to Texas

post #1 of 55
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A U.S. district judge on Thursday issued an order denying Rockstar's motion to transfer a patent invalidation suit leveled by Google from California to the more patent holder-friendly Eastern District of Texas.

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According to U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken's ruling, Google provided sufficient evidence to keep its countersuit against the patent consortium in California, a substantial win for the Mountain View-based company, reports Reuters.

In 2011, the Apple-led Rockstar Consortium paid $4.5 billion ($2.6 billion of which came from Apple) to outbid a Google-backed group for a cache of Nortel patents. Rockstar, which includes tech heavyweights Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony and Ericsson, then leveraged the properties against Google and seven Android handset makers in an October 2013 suit filed in Eastern District of Texas.

Looking to invalidate the very patents it unsuccessfully bid on just months earlier, Google lodged a countersuit against Rockstar in California. Aside from arguing non-infringement, the move was a tactical one meant to bring jurisdiction back to the West Coast.

Rockstar filed a motion to dismiss the California case, or otherwise transfer proceedings to Texas where the consortium has an office. It should be noted that the co-plaintiff in Rockstar's case, MobileStar, also has a presence in Texas.

However, as noted by ArsTechnica, Judge Wilken's was not persuaded by Rockstar's defense in the California action.

From Judge Wilken's order:

[...] the circumstances here strongly suggest that Rockstar formed MobileStar as a sham entity for the sole purpose of avoiding jurisdiction in all other fora except MobileStar's state of incorporation (Delaware) and claimed principal place of business (Texas). A mere day before it initiated litigation against Google's customers, Rockstar freshly minted MobileStar, with no California contacts, and assigned the asserted patents to that subsidiary. [...] Other evidence suggesting MobileStar maintains no independent identity is the fact that all MobileStar employees also work for Rockstar.


The jurist agreed with Google's assertions that Apple's business interests are directly linked with Rockstar, meaning correct jurisdiction would be in California, where both companies are headquartered. Judge Wilken also shot down Rockstar's attempt to claim Texas as more convenient for parties involved, an argument based on the consortium's base of operations in Canada

post #2 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post

Suck it Apple! Hopefully this gets thrown out and you'll have to go back to competing on merits alone.

Why bother with patents then? Why offer billion$ and then call the patents worthless?

Suck it, Google!

post #3 of 55

Rockstar is nothing more than a patent troll and I wish Apple and Microsoft would stop their association with them.

post #4 of 55
What I say about google are troublemaker computer programmers.
post #5 of 55
Rockstar would be a patent troll if the patents they bought had no value to the businesses themselves except as used in litigation. However, the Nortel patents have technical value to the likes of Apple, MS, and Google. New inventions extending these patent ideas can be made without concern for the need to license or the need to invent around the patents, to avoid infringement. Trolls don't care about these issues.
post #6 of 55
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Originally Posted by tastowe View Post

What I say about google are troublemaker computer programmers.

W00t?

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #7 of 55
Oops
I can't imagine this was sanctioned from Cupertino.
This manoeuvre smacks of a bunch of legal beagles operating on the companies behalf but without enough control.from the parent company.

Time for Tim to rein these cowboys in, I'd say.
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Rockstar would be a patent troll if the patents they bought had no value to the businesses themselves except as used in litigation. However, the Nortel patents have technical value to the likes of Apple, MS, and Google. New inventions extending these patent ideas can be made without concern for the need to license or the need to invent around the patents, to avoid infringement. Trolls don't care about these issues.

While that may be true, the strategy of creating a front company in Texas in an attempt to keep litigation there is definitely a patent troll tactic.

 

edit: Also, am I the only one feeling uneasy about the whole thing where you can buy a patent and it essentially becomes a license to sue?

post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post

Suck it Apple! Hopefully this gets thrown out and you'll have to go back to competing on merits alone.

 

You are so boring and predictable, haven't you got something better to do or are you stuck in a boring and predictable job?

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post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post


Actually, there is one differentiation from a pure patent troll;  Rockstar is also set with the objective of disrupting the Android business through the court system, which is not what a pure patent troll would do.. in fact, this makes Rockstar worse than a patent troll.

The court recognized that, mentioning it in the Judge's order denying the move to Texas.

"Defendants' litigation strategy of suing Google's customers in the Halloween actions is consistent with Apple’s particular business interests. In suing the Halloween action defendants, Defendants here limited their infringement claims to Android-operating devices only, even where they asserted a hardware-based patent... This 'scare the customer and run' tactic advances Apple's interest in interfering with Google's Android business..."


From what she's seen so far the Chief Judge of the Northern District doesn't believe Rockstar's independence assertions.
Edited by Gatorguy - 4/18/14 at 4:15am
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post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post
 

That's exactly how Rockstar uses these patents - for litigation purposes only.  It doesn't create or use these patents in any other way. It's a patent troll. 

 

Do you know anything about Nortel's portfolio? They have a vast valuable contribution to technology and they are licensed and used in many products, including ones used by the group that purchased them and others. Are you suggesting that when they closed they shouldn't be able to sell/transfer these patents like any other closing business would with physical products/machinery? 

 

I do agree with the judge not transferring the case to Texas, her reasoning seems sound.

Now the court will decide whether the patents have merit, like it should.

 

The real issue is the patent office and what is, what can, and what should be patentable.

Some patent description are so incredibly vague or general you could apply them to hundreds of different things.

ex: " a method and procedure for doing A to B"


Edited by Headrush69 - 4/18/14 at 5:03am
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headrush69 View Post
 

Are you suggesting that when they closed they shouldn't be able to sell/transfer these patents like any other closing business would with physical products/machinery?

I don't know. On the one hand I see what you mean, but on the other hand I'm deeply uneasy with being able to buy a 'license to sue', whether it's in the form of patents or copyrights.

 

If I was to buy a patent from Samsung and then immediately used it to sue Apple, how is that any different from a troll? If the entire reason behind my purchase is just so that I can sue someone with it, how does that make me different from a company who files for broad patents for the same reason?

post #13 of 55
undefined
post #14 of 55
Bryan Tianao - it would seem that you work for Samsung from the stream of pro Samsung comments you post in an Apple Forum? Isn't that called trolling?
As for Android being targeted... I would turn that around and say that Google bought Motorola for exactly the same purposes...in fact they sold the company and kept the most important Patents
post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Rogoff View Post

Bryan Tianao - it would seem that you work for Samsung from the stream of pro Samsung comments you post in an Apple Forum? Isn't that called trolling?
As for Android being targeted... I would turn that around and say that Google bought Motorola for exactly the same purposes...in fact they sold the company and kept the most important Patents

If all these 'shill' accusations were true, the entirety of the American tech industry would have been bankrupted by the costs of paying so many people.

post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLite View Post
 

If all these 'shill' accusations were true, the entirety of the American tech industry would have been bankrupted by the costs of paying so many people.

It is in fact a relatively cheap way of getting attention...doesnt take many people to target all the major apple sites...with Samsung's marketing budget it is a drop in the ocean. Why else would you only post negative comments on a site dedicated to Apple? 

post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Rogoff View Post

Bryan Tianao - it would seem that you work for Samsung from the stream of pro Samsung comments you post in an Apple Forum? Isn't that called trolling?
As for Android being targeted... I would turn that around and say that Google bought Motorola for exactly the same purposes...in fact they sold the company and kept the most important Patents
...and yet don't bring a single lawsuit using any of them against a tech neighbor. Odd for a company that supposedly bought them to go after their competitors don't you think?
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post #18 of 55
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


...and yet don't bring a single lawsuit using any of them against a tech neighbor. Odd for a company that supposedly bought them to go after their competitors don't you think?

Perhaps you aren't looking hard enough.... http://www.zdnet.com/motorola-mobility-sues-apple-again-seeks-iphone-mac-import-ban-7000002853/

post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Rogoff View Post

Perhaps you aren't looking hard enough.... http://www.zdnet.com/motorola-mobility-sues-apple-again-seeks-iphone-mac-import-ban-7000002853/

Perhaps you aren't reading enough. MM requested that ITC case be dropped just 6 weeks after it was filed.
There's not a single new lawsuit using MM IP in the works despite Motorola Mobility and/or Google having plenty of time to root thru those patents and find a few appropriate ones.
http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/02/googlemotorola-unilaterally-drop-itc-patent-infringement-case-against-apple/

Now if you look really hard you might stumble on the only patent infringement lawsuit Google has ever filed in the history of their company. Yup, there's only one and it's not against Apple, Microsoft, Nokia or any other competitor of theirs.
Edited by Gatorguy - 4/18/14 at 7:27am
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post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Rogoff View Post
 

Perhaps you aren't looking hard enough.... http://www.zdnet.com/motorola-mobility-sues-apple-again-seeks-iphone-mac-import-ban-7000002853/

You do understand that these lawsuit were started by Motorola before Google acquisition.  No company in their right mind (Including Apple) is not going to just shut down lawsuit just because they gets acquired by someone. That's now how system works. Everyone knows that Google bought Motorola patents for self defense against troll lawsuit that wants to take advantage of Android eco-system.

post #21 of 55

These were standards essential patents and therefore would not have succeeded and that is why I suspect they didn't carry on with the lawsuit. If you are suggesting that Apple is a patent troll then read this... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/apple-top-target-of-patent-trolls-faced-92-lawsuits-in-three-years/

post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Rogoff View Post

These were standards essential patents and therefore would not have succeeded and that is why I suspect they didn't carry on with the lawsuit. If you are suggesting that Apple is a patent troll then read this... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/apple-top-target-of-patent-trolls-faced-92-lawsuits-in-three-years/

Nope, wrong again. The 6 (or was it 7) patents that MM wanted to use were not all standard-essential. In fact IIRC none of them were.
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post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM View Post

Oops
I can't imagine this was sanctioned from Cupertino.
This manoeuvre smacks of a bunch of legal beagles operating on the companies behalf but without enough control.from the parent company.

Time for Tim to rein these cowboys in, I'd say.

 

The whole point of Rockstar is for it to operate independently. 

post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

The whole point of Rockstar is for it to operate independently. 

That's what Veschi, Rockstar's CEO, publicly said. The Chief Judge in her ruling does not believe him.
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post #25 of 55
The very fact that different judges can 'interpret' patent law differently in various jurisdictions in the US makes me believe that the basis of IP and especially software 'inventions' is fatally flawed.
post #26 of 55
Google tried to buy these patents defensively to prevent Apple from launching it's pathetic holy war.
post #27 of 55
Google: the patents are a joke.
Court: um, didn't you bid on them?
Google: that was a joke bid.
Court: um sure. We always bid on item in jest.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Rockstar would be a patent troll if the patents they bought had no value to the businesses themselves except as used in litigation. However, the Nortel patents have technical value to the likes of Apple, MS, and Google. New inventions extending these patent ideas can be made without concern for the need to license or the need to invent around the patents, to avoid infringement. Trolls don't care about these issues.

 

Apple in the process of building a radio modem for use in cell phones (Nortel patents), hardly a troll. Google's incompetence as a Ad company pretending to make tech hardware at no profit makes them a troll.

post #29 of 55
Honestly, what do you think Google would have done if they purchased these patents?
I doubt they would just put them away and let all their competitors have free reign of them. Google doesn't like patents because they don't have any worth a shxt!!
post #30 of 55

you've been farting around in the tech world for 30 years and you don't understand the validity of patents? You never patented any of your work in all that time? I find it hard to believe. Also hard to believe is that by your argument patents in other industries are some sort of vestigial appendage in the system. Do engineers in automotive and aerospace or a myriad of other industries also not have the right to patent their ideas or is your bias just towards the tech world? Please enlighten me because I don't understand how a development in any realm of "invention" shouldn't  reward the creator or the owner. 

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post #31 of 55
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post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post
 

Thanks Gatorguy - Nice link - I've got plenty of prior art references to submit to the PTO to assist then in invalidating the obvious patents Apple is pushing.. Background data sync, just invented since iPhone was released?? pffft.

 

Apple's patents go back to the Mac and Next days, they use them as iOS is an extension of OSX.

 

Convergence.

 

You want to make a phone work like a computer, Apple's been there thirty years and twenty one for the Newton?

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post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post
 

 

Can you imagine how many patents would be out there if every developer patented everything they created?

Do you really think every developer in the world that creates something is creating something unique which only they could have come up with and is worthy of patenting?

If you create something truly unique and worthy, sure patent it.  Do you really believe Apple invented background data sync? or Autocorrect? Have you used MS Word before?  Autocorrect has plenty of prior art - it doesn't make it valid just because you add "for use on a mobile device".

 

Those other industries, do create something unique, eg pharma, so Patents make sense there.

 

All those standards essential software patents that cover how data is encoded, sent over a network and decoded.

 

Do you think modern telecommunications would work without them?

 

The prior art is morse code.

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post #34 of 55
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Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post
 

Sure, there are valid patents out there.  Do you believe the over two hundred thousands approved software patents (in US alone) and many more hundreds of thousands of patents pending, are likely valid? Even some of the "key" ones Apple are presenting are under re-examination by the PTO for validity.

 

...but morse code was prior art, it encoded data, transmitted it over a network and decoded it at the other end.

 

According to your earlier arguments, that invalidates every GSM, 3G and 4G standards essential patent ever granted because that is all these inventions do, using software to do it.

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post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post
 

The fact is I've used Apple products probably a lot longer than most people on this forum; having cut my teeth as a coder back on the Apple II+ and IIe in early 80's.  I'm also a fan of Steve Wozniak (who, due to his views on the whole merits of litigation, funnily enough makes him unpopular on these types of forums.. hmm maybe he's a Samsung shill too because of his not having 100% pro biased apple views?) 

So, perhaps instead of taking offense to someone with an opposing view, you might consider trying to counter it and provide your "balanced" view. Reality is that is harder to do as you are then defending the actions of a patent troll - easier to just ad hominem the poster.

 

Lastly, to your point on the Motorola acquisition, given the "going thermonuclear" intents of Jobs, it would have been corporate negligence of Google to not start looking at ways to counter this new NON technological threat that's been created by Apple. It was bought for defensive purposes. Now we have billions being spent away from technology and into the pockets of lawyers thanks to Apple - that ticks me off frankly, oh and the blind sheep that believe that is the right philosophy (it isn't, it won't end up with a good result for Apple (ie Android will continue to be around and dominate), it will hold progress back about 5 or 10 years though).

Hi Bryan, firstly, if you are indeed not a Samsung Shill then I sincerely apologise for the assumption but as you dont seem to have a supportive word for Apple then it is hard to assume otherwise. I am not an Apple sheep and have criticised them when I felt they deserved it but as Android is (and please dont try to persuade me otherwise) at best a stolen operating system I do get sick of people coming onto this forum to defend it. Having spent most of my career in design I know what it takes to develop an original idea and I am one of those people that believes in patenting things - however trivial they might seem to those who didn't develop them. This is because I understand the process; the pain and trauma in arriving at something new. There is no incentive to develop stuff if you are knocked off the following day by a company that has not spent the money and time to develop it for themselves. Simple concept but profound. Now we dont have the perfect system in patents but it is the only system we have right now. I do believe it needs to be re-thought but till we have a new system those who create should have legal recourse. I dont want to spend the rest of the night in a debating with everyone on the forum so this is the last word from me on the subject. Happy Easter all...

post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

...but morse code was prior art, it encoded data, transmitted it over a network and decoded it at the other end.

According to your earlier arguments, that invalidates every GSM, 3G and 4G standards essential patent ever granted because that is all these inventions do, using software to do it.
Excellent use of a False Dilemma sir...
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post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post
 

Thanks Gatorguy - Nice link - I've got plenty of prior art references to submit to the PTO to assist then in invalidating the obvious patents Apple is pushing.. Background data sync, just invented since iPhone was released?? pffft.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Excellent use of a False Dilemma sir...

 

pffft.

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post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post

The fact is I've used Apple products probably a lot longer than most people on this forum; having cut my teeth as a coder back on the Apple II+ and IIe in early 80's.  I'm 
also a fan of Steve Wozniak (
who, due to his views on the whole merits of litigation, funnily enough makes him unpopular on these types of forums.. hmm maybe he's a Samsung shill too because of his not having 100% pro biased apple views?) 

So, perhaps instead of taking offense to someone with an opposing view, you might consider trying to counter it and provide your "balanced" view. Reality is that is harder to do as you are then defending the actions of a patent troll - easier to just ad hominem the poster.


Lastly, to your point on the Motorola acquisition, given the "going thermonuclear" intents of Jobs, it would have been corporate negligence of Google to not start looking at ways to counter this new NON technological threat that's been created by Apple. It was bought for defensive purposes. Now we have billions being spent away from technology and into the pockets of lawyers thanks to Apple - that ticks me off frankly, oh and the blind sheep that believe that is the right philosophy (it isn't, it won't end up with a good result for Apple (ie Android will continue to be around and dominate), it will hold progress back about 5 or 10 years though).

And therein lies your wrongheadedness. "Android...will continue to dominate". Dominate what? The only thing it dominates is cheap crap phones. By all other metrics - usability, profitability, actual mobile web usage, ad revenue generation, third party app revenue generation, etc. it lags far behind.
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloydbm4 View Post
 

Rockstar is nothing more than a patent troll and I wish Apple and Microsoft would stop their association with them.

Lol do you even have a clue who rockstar is?  obviously not.

post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Tianao View Post
 

That's exactly how Rockstar uses these patents - for litigation purposes only.  It doesn't create or use these patents in any other way. It's a patent troll. 

 

Actually, there is one differentiation from a pure patent troll;  Rockstar is also set with the objective of disrupting the Android business through the court system, which is not what a pure patent troll would do.. in fact, this makes Rockstar worse than a patent troll.

LOL  Good popcorn bs string there!

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