Friday, December 27, 2013

Google takes Rockstar Consortium patent battle across state lines

Google takes Rockstar Consortium patent battle across state lines

Google takes Rockstar Consortium patent battle across state lines

Google has asked a court in California to rule on a patent issue that was first raised by Rockstar Consortium in Texas in October.

Rockstar, a patent firm backed by Microsoft, Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony, outbid Google to acquire a pack of patents for $ 4.5 billion in 2011.

Then in October this year Rockstar proceeded to sue Samsung, HTC and five other Google partners in a Texas court for allegedly infringing on seven of those patents.

Now Google has reached out to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to ask the court to rule that its Nexus devices and the Android devices produced by its partners do not in fact infringe on Rockstar's patents.

They're certainly not making Grand Theft Auto

From the outside looking in it would appear that Rockstar Consortium is nothing more than a patent troll looking to dampen Android's dominance. Google certainly things so at least.

In its filing with the California court, the search company said Rockstar "produces no products and practices no patents."

"Instead," the filing reads, "Rockstar employs a staff of engineers in Ontario, Canada, who examine other companies' successful products to find anything that Rockstar might use to demand and extract licenses to its patents under threat of litigation."

Google believes the California court has jurisdiction because Rockstar shareholders (like Apple, for one) and companies Rockstar litigates against are located in the Golden State.

Everything's bigger

Texas courts are notorious for being lenient toward patent claims, even when said cases appear to be obvious instances of patent trolling.

In a separate but related case Rockstar and subsidiary NetStar Technologies have sued Google in Texas over another seven patents concerning search queries and related ads, an important part of Google's business.

Google has asked for a 30-day extension to issue a response in that case.


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