Google, Samsung and others sued by Rockstar consortium over Nortel patents

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2014
After losing an auction for Nortel's cache of patents in 2011, Google is being sued by the Rockstar consortium, of which Apple is a major member, for infringing those same properties.

Associative
Illustration from one patent in suit regarding an "Associative Search Engine."


In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Thursday, as first reported by Reuters, Rockstar is asserting seven patents against Google from the thousands it won in a Nortel patent auction in 2011.

Ironically, the Internet search giant was one of the auction's main bidders, but was ultimately outbid by Rockstar, which paid $4.5 billion for the properties. The consortium is consists of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony and Ericsson.

The seven patents being leveraged relate to methods of associating Internet search terms with advertisements, the central feature of Google's ad businesses, such as AdWords.

Rockstar won a cache of 6,000 patents from Nortel when the company put its valuable assets on the auction block after filing for bankruptcy in 2009. Google kicked out a first bid of $900 million in 2011, which quickly multiplied to as much as $4.4 billion.

Many believed Apple and its partners were interested in Nortel's patents covering advanced wireless technology, key to the companies' smartphone businesses.

Prior to Google's initial bid, the U.S. Department of Justice conducted an antitrust investigation into the company's interest in the patents, but found no issues and let bidding commence. The DOJ was more concerned with Apple's interest in the patents, as the body feared it would use them offensively against competitors. In the end, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission gave Apple the green light to pursue Nortel's treasure trove.

When bidding completed, it was reported that Apple paid a huge portion of Rockstar's final tally, some $2.6 billion, eclipsing input from Blackberry, Sony and others.

Rockstar is seeking an award for past and future damages. Due to Google's allegedly willful infringement of the seven patents, the consortium is also looking for additional damages including attorneys' fees and costs associated with the suit.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    And so it begins...
  • Reply 2 of 88
    If Google loses, what are its options? Pay royalties on each use going forward? License the technology? Or invent a new solution?

    Hope the energy drink company doesn't sue the consortium.
  • Reply 3 of 88
    Going after Google's core business is a nice touch.
  • Reply 4 of 88
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,502member
    Did not see that coming...

    Interesting
  • Reply 5 of 88
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Love that they filed the suit in the eastern district of Texas. I hope I live long enough to see the final outcome.
  • Reply 6 of 88
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member

    Looks like Google has their hands full...

  • Reply 7 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post



    If Google loses, what are its options? Pay royalties on each use going forward? License the technology? Or invent a new solution?



    Hope the energy drink company doesn't sue the consortium.



    Unlikely with what has been happening, that they are SEPs. So I suspect that there will be some crosslicensing with Google to Apple's benefit, rather than demanding a work around or royalties. As Google is in the hot seat, it will likely tread carefully right now for its patents through Motorola. Samsung... Personally, if I was Apple, I would try to hurt Samsung badly. You may have heard that they are not friends hahaha.

  • Reply 8 of 88
    teejay2012 wrote: »

    Unlikely with what has been happening, that they are SEPs. So I suspect that there will be some crosslicensing to Apple's benefit, rather than demanding a work around or royalties. As Google is in the hot seat, it will likely tread carefully right now for its patents through Motorola. Personally, if I was Apple, I would try to hurt Google badly. They are not friends.
    Thermonuclear.
  • Reply 9 of 88
    I thought the Google shills said Apple was "afraid" of Google and that's why they never sue them.

    So much for that.
  • Reply 10 of 88
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    There may turn out to be some unanticipated expenses for using the "free" operating system. If Samsung is really moving away from using Android, this suit may hasten the process.
  • Reply 11 of 88
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

    Hope the energy drink company doesn't sue the consortium.

     

     

    The first three-way lawsuit in history: the Rockstar Consortium v. Rockstar Games v. Rockstar Inc.

  • Reply 12 of 88
    bighypebighype Posts: 148member
    Heehe%u2026 time for those evil thieves in Mountain View to start paying up! And not to mention about those Korean criminal organization known collectively as Samsung! Both deserve to pay every cent after they're found of infringing these patents!
  • Reply 13 of 88
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,469member

    Don't forget punitive damages! If any company deserves punitive damages for willful infringement of intellectual property rights, it's Google.

  • Reply 14 of 88

    Rockstar is a patent holding non-practicing entity (NPE) -- and the suit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas, the patent troll capital of the world.  Nice!  I'm pretty sure there will be similar lawsuits coming to the Dusseldorf / Mannheim courts of Germany -- the paten troll capital of EU!  LOL!!

     

    Well, now we could officially call Apple a proud parent of a "patent troll."

     

    Now, I don't see Samsung named in the complaint, anybody know what's going on here?  (or is it just another AI click-bait?)

  • Reply 15 of 88
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

     

    Well, now we could officially call Apple a proud parent of a "patent troll."


     

    Hardly. Nortel used to make products, and since they are gone all that's left is their patent portfolio. And Nortel created all their IP through extensive R&D - they didn't go around acquiring patents simply for the purpose of suing.

     

    And Rockstar licenses all their FRAND pledged patents fairly - unlike Samsung or Google/Motorola who are known patent abusers, proven in court.

     

    Then again, what else would a tool say anyway?

  • Reply 16 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post



    There may turn out to be some unanticipated expenses for using the "free" operating system. If Samsung is really moving away from using Android, this suit may hasten the process.

     

    I don't think this suit has much to do with Android.   If you look at the patents listed, they are all  "search" and "ads" related patents.  I still don't understand how Samsung made to the headline. 

  • Reply 17 of 88
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post



    If Google loses, what are its options? Pay royalties on each use going forward? License the technology? Or invent a new solution?



    Hope the energy drink company doesn't sue the consortium.

    If ...

    No, they will lose!

     

    Their options?

    Larry will have to bend over!

     

    License? Yep. No way out this time!

     

    Invent?

    Who? Google? They don't even know how to spell it! 

  • Reply 18 of 88
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post



    Going after Google's core business is a nice touch.

    Yes my friend. The very same core business which makes them billions to spend on their copy machines and release them for free.

     

    No more freebies for samsung for sure .... ;)

  • Reply 19 of 88
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

    Hardly. Nortel used to make products, and since they are gone all that's left is their patent portfolio. And Nortel created all their IP through extensive R&D - they didn't go around acquiring patents simply for the purpose of suing.




    At the peak, Nortel actually had a bigger R&D budget ($6 Billion) than Apple currently has.

  • Reply 20 of 88

    and so it begins...

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