Google to settle patent suit leveled by Apple-backed Rockstar consortium

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
A court filing this week suggests Google has agreed to settle a patent dispute leveled by the Rockstar consortium, of which Apple is a major investor, suggesting the end is in sight for this particular lawsuit.




Rockstar on Wednesday was granted a motion to stay hearing deadlines after announcing it had hammered out a binding term sheet with Google to settle the parties' patent litigation. The agreement was reached on Nov. 12 and "settles, in principle, all matters in controversy between the parties."

The case dates back to October of last year, when Rockstar sued Google, Samsung and other Android product makers for infringing on seven patents covering Internet searches and advertisements. Each case is separate, but that Google has agreed to settle is considered a major milestone in Apple's legal battle with the Internet giant.

Rockstar, a group of high power tech companies including Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony and Ericsson, purchased the IP in when Nortel sold off thousands of patents as a result of going bankrupt in 2009.

Ironically, Google was first to bid $900 million on the patent cache in 2011, but ultimately lost to Rockstar, which paid out some $4.5 billion. When bidding ended, it came to light that Apple put in a huge amount of capital to secure the patent hoard, with some estimates pegging the company's input at $2.6 billion.

The resulting lawsuit sought damages from Google for willful patent infringement and lawyer fees.

Rockstar's filing does not attach an exact figure to the settlement, but asks for an extra 45 days to sort out the "complexity of the transaction and the number
of additional parties whose claims are concurrently being resolved." Of note, Cisco earlier this week announced it had reached a settlement with Rockstar for $188 million.

A copy of the initial motion to stay is embedded below.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89

     

    Rockstar was a great investment.

  • Reply 2 of 89
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,485member
    Both Google and Cisco may be paying the same $188M to settle according to one commenter, tho it's not been said either way if Android licensees are also covered.
  • Reply 3 of 89
    shsfshsf Posts: 302member

    And Steve's good pal is just getting started...

     

    http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2014/05/10/larry-ellisons-oracle-wins-appeal-court-decision-on-copyright-of-java-apis-against-googles-android/

     

    No matter how much "investing" Larry Page does in Fortune covers and business insider articles blathering on about how it's a crime to not use one's millions to benefit mankind, do no evil, and all that crappy jazz... pay up time is approaching. 

  • Reply 4 of 89
    Google, the innovator. /s
  • Reply 5 of 89
    Awesome. Rockstar aka big f-#king Patent Troll wins in patent troll heaven aka Eastern District Court of Texas. It is disgusting that an entity like Rockstar even exists. They are a leech on the US patent system.
  • Reply 6 of 89
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    I wonder why this article doesn't refer to Rockstar as a patent troll since it's a non-practicing entity. AI loves that phrase in other articles about these types of organizations. It's a real puzzler what's different in this instance.
  • Reply 7 of 89
    If Apple is partner in Rockstar then wouldn't that make Rockstar a practicing entity?
  • Reply 8 of 89
    tenlytenly Posts: 707member
    malax wrote: »
    I wonder why this article doesn't refer to Rockstar as a patent troll since it's a non-practicing entity. AI loves that phrase in other articles about these types of organizations. It's a real puzzler what's different in this instance.

    Rockstar is a consortium of practicing entities. What's so puzzling about that? Lets not forget that Google was invited to be part of that consortium but declined - and submitted a competitive bid for these same patents - obviously with the intent to sue some or all of the Rockstar members. I hope they're paying a lot.
  • Reply 9 of 89
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post



    I wonder why this article doesn't refer to Rockstar as a patent troll since it's a non-practicing entity. AI loves that phrase in other articles about these types of organizations. It's a real puzzler what's different in this instance.

     

    I just had to laugh at how so many here scrambled to come up with their own definitions for what makes a patent troll.



    'By my definition of what a patent troll is, the Rockstar Consortium is not a patent troll.'  <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 10 of 89
    tenlytenly Posts: 707member
    xusia wrote: »
    Awesome. Rockstar aka big f-#king Patent Troll wins in patent troll heaven aka Eastern District Court of Texas. It is disgusting that an entity like Rockstar even exists. They are a leech on the US patent system.
    Nobody "won" anything. Google agreed to settle. By definition Rockstar is not a troll. You of course are entitled to your own opinion - even an insanely ridiculous one that makes no sense and is clearly wrong if you so choose. Google tried to purchase those patents for the same purpose - to sue the members of Rockstar - but you'd have no problem with that, right? Or if Google hadn't been so cheap and had actually won the patents - would you now be calling them the leech?
  • Reply 11 of 89
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    droidftw wrote: »
    I just had to laugh at how so many here scrambled to come up with their own definitions for what makes a patent troll.


    'By my definition of what a patent troll is, the Rockstar Consortium is not a patent troll.'  :lol:

    A Patent troll is a company that doesn't produce what they own the patents on. The Rockstar Consortium is a "better idea" than say Apple buying the patents and then the other partners deciding to sue Apple because they want to change the licensing terms. Google should have joined when they had the chance because that would have lowered the costs for everyone on it.

    But hey, drop in the bucket.

    So by definition, Rockstar's purpose for existence was to mutually not sue the other partners for control over the patents. That's not quite a Patent Troll.

    Patent trolls are companies that either buy patents from inventors who have yet to sue or be sued by anyone, or they proactively try to patent things that are actively being invented. An example of this is Unisys on the LZW patent.

    There are plenty of open source developers who aren't patenting things, because they think it's trivial.
  • Reply 12 of 89
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Both Google and Cisco may be paying the same $188M to settle according to one commenter, tho it's not been said either way if Android licensees are also covered.


    Doesn't seem like much a return on a 4.5 billion dollar purchase.
  • Reply 13 of 89

    I love seeing thumbs up on troll comments. It helps me block more of these guys at one shot rather than running through them in the forum.

  • Reply 14 of 89

      Quote:


    Originally Posted by XuSIA View Post



    Awesome. Rockstar aka big f-#king Patent Troll wins in patent troll heaven aka Eastern District Court of Texas. It is disgusting that an entity like Rockstar even exists. They are a leech on the US patent system.

     

    You have it backwards.

     

    There were so many patents for sale that a group of companies got together to bid and buy the patents as a group so that they did not have to sue each other. Google was asked to join Rockstar but they declined because they wanted to make a separate bid for the patents and own everything themselves. They lost the bid and now they are paying the price for being greedy.

  • Reply 15 of 89
    Google: Sure We're Geniuses, But We're Still Giant Idiots
  • Reply 16 of 89
    kozchris wrote: »
    If Apple is partner in Rockstar then wouldn't that make Rockstar a practicing entity?

    No, because you cannot sue back Rockstar for infringing products (they have no products).
  • Reply 17 of 89
    misa wrote: »
    A Patent troll is a company that doesn't produce what they own the patents on. The Rockstar Consortium is a "better idea" than say Apple buying the patents and then the other partners deciding to sue Apple because they want to change the licensing terms. Google should have joined when they had the chance because that would have lowered the costs for everyone on it.

    But hey, drop in the bucket.

    So by definition, Rockstar's purpose for existence was to mutually not sue the other partners for control over the patents. That's not quite a Patent Troll.

    Patent trolls are companies that either buy patents from inventors who have yet to sue or be sued by anyone, or they proactively try to patent things that are actively being invented. An example of this is Unisys on the LZW patent.

    There are plenty of open source developers who aren't patenting things, because they think it's trivial.

    "Patent troll" is term used by the company or person who doesn't own the patent they are infringing. It's a loaded term that should be avoided, because it really depends on which side of the lawsuit you sit.
  • Reply 18 of 89
    bradipao wrote: »
    No, because you cannot sue back Rockstar for infringing products (they have no products).

    So Google kept Motorola's patents for what reason if they are not producing phones?
  • Reply 19 of 89
    bradipao wrote: »
    No, because you cannot sue back Rockstar for infringing products (they have no products).

    That is not the definition of a patent troll. The Rockstar consortium exists to protect the products of the owners. Your desire to rewrite the definition that force the Rockstar brand to be scribed on devices in order to not be a troll is simply ridiculous.
  • Reply 20 of 89

    It's quite possible that what I'm about to say is going to sound highly ignorant and unfounded, but I do feel passionately about it and every bone in my body wishes that Google would just die. And here's why:

     


    1. I don't trust the company one bit.

    2. I hate their most of their products (Google search, Google Plus)

    3. I want Apple to have a monopoly.

     

    I probably lost you on #3, but let me explain why... Yes, I realize that competition promotes innovation, but I believe that in this competitive market, they're rolling out products faster than they can test them, resulting in poor quality. Of course, I don't mean every advancement, but at this precise moment in time, I wish we could take a break and refine our existing technology, expand our infrastructure and settle on one platform that we can all agree on.

     

    Sure, the geek part of me wants to see how far technology can go but my conservative side shudders at the very word "UPGRADE". Everywhere I look, there's problems upon problems and the only solution is to UPGRADE but that brings about even more problems. (Can you tell, I'm not happy with Yosemite?)  

     

    Is it just me or is the "Mac experience" not so simple as it used to be? iCloud is really getting on my last nerve and the smallest a miscalculation results in data loss. I got to YouTube on my iPad and it tells me "This video can't be played". Where there's normally not enough options, there's too many options, I want my damn labels back, I hate tags...... It all just seems like it's so bloated.

     

    Again, I realize there's workarounds to all these things, but when you finally master it, there's another update that moves everything around and we're back to square one. Is it so selfish of me to want one single platform that everybody uses? I hate not being able to FaceTime my Android friends or AirDrop them files and that's why I wish Android would just go away. Then Apple could take a break and refine what we have and not rush into releasing the next big thing. Anyhow, It's 3:30 AM and I got to get some sleep.

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