A consortium of large technology companies, which owns thousands of patents from the Nortel bankruptcy auction, has filed law suits against Google alleging infringement.
Rockstar, which is jointly owned by Apple, Blackberry, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony has filed suit in the US District Court of Texas. It is not just Google that have been accused of infringement but also Asus, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, Pantech and ZTE.
The tech consortium is suing Google over patents relating to Rockstar’s search advertising business, as well as Google’s hardware maunfacturing partners over the devices that run Android. Effectively, by suing Asus, it is launching an attack on the Nexus 7, which Asus manufactures for Google.
A Google spokesperson said in a statement: “While we haven’t yet been served with this complaint, we continue to advocate for patent reform that would address the current flood of patent litigation.”
Rockstar acquired the more than 6,000 patents from Nortel in an auction almost two years ago. The consortium spent $4.5 billion, out-bidding Google, who were also at the auction. The US Department of Justice, who approved the sale, said that members of the consortium committed to licensing so-called standard essential patents on fair terms.
John Veschi, CEO of Rockstar told Wired magazine: “Pretty much anybody out there is infringing. “It would be hard for me to envision that there are high-tech companies out there that don’t use some of the patents in our portfolio.”
Google have now been accused of infringing seven of the Nortel patents, which relate to the technology that helps it match internet search queries with relevant advertising. Samsung too is accused of infringing seven patents but these relate to graphical user interfaces, messaging and notifications. HTC and LG are accused of violating these same patents.
[Image via Calltamara]