Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.
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Google, Samsung, and others sued over search patents by Apple-backed Nortel group
Google, Samsung, and several other Android handset manufacturers are being sued by Rockstar, a consortium backed by Apple and several other tech companies, over alleged infringement of several search patents acquired by Rockstar from Nortel in 2011. Last year HTC reached a ten-year agreement with Apple as part of a patent infringement settlement. That deal would result in both companies licensing existing and future patents from one another, but it seems that agreement does not apply in this case.
The seven patents in question deal with matching search terms to relevant advertisements. Google is primarily a search and advertising company, so a loss in this case could be a serious blow. At the heart of the suit is Google’s Android platform, which Rockstar says infringes these web search patents. Because Samsung, HTC, Huawei, and others build on this platform, they are also being named in the suit.
Rockstar acquired the patents for over $4 billion last year and claims that Google’s continued use of the unlicensed technology is a wilful infringement of the consortium’s intellectual property.
Nortel Stories June 30, 2011
A consortium including Apple Inc, Microsoft, EMC Corp, Sony, Ericsson, and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion bought bankrupt telecommunications gear maker Nortel Networks Corp’s remaining portfolio of 6000 patents for $4.5 billion, in an auction that began early this week.
RIM reportedly paid $770 million, Ericsson paid $340 million. It wasn’t immediately clear how much Apple paid.
Google had originally opened bidding with a $900 million bid. The consortium of strange bedfellows will split up the portfolio based on the split of the purchase price.
The sale is subject to Canadian and U.S. court approvals which will be sought at a joint hearing expected to be held on July 11. Full press release follows:
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Nortel Stories June 17, 2011
Nortel decided to extend the deadline for the start of the auction for its patents until June 27 citing “significant interest” from third parties. Today we learn that two Silicon Valley giants are significantly interested in Nortel’s war chest of more than five thousand wireless patents said to be worth well over a billion dollars. They are Apple and Intel, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Other bidders include Ericsson AB and a company called RPX Corp which “defensively buys up patents on behalf of other companies to stop them from being used against them by investors”. expand full story