Oct 31, 2020 | Updated: 09:48 PM EDT

Google Is Suing Rockstar

Dec 27, 2013 11:20 AM EST

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Google is striking back against Rockstar, filing a lawsuit this week against the patent holding company that previously sued Mountain View and a number of Android device makers for allegedly infringing on intellectual property. In its suit, Google is seeking a judgment that would shield itself as well as its affiliates from future patent litigation concerning the Android platform.   

As outlined in the court filing, Rockstar is essentially a dummy corporation owned jointly by several of the world’s largest tech players, including Apple. Its sole purpose is in leveraging the patent portfolio once owned by the now-defunct firm Nortel Networks to sue players in the Android business:

“In June 2011, five of the world’s largest technology companies — including Google competitors Apple, Research In Motion, and Microsoft — joined forces to obtain a portfolio of patents auctioned during the bankruptcy of Nortel Networks. Bankrolled by these companies, a manufactured entity called “Rockstar Bidco” placed the winning bid of $4.5 billion. According to Apple’s June 2011 Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple contributed “approximately $2.6 billion” of that sum.”

Google isn’t mincing any words here. The company goes on to basically call Rockstar a patent troll, which it is for all intents and purposes.

“Rockstar produces no products and practices no patents. Instead, 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,” reads the filing.

In the filing, Google specifically points to a number of Android devices, including the Nexus line and several OEM manufacturers who Mountain View claims have been unfairly targeted with patent lawsuits.

Recently, the Supreme Court said it would review whether to abolish software patents in general, which would certainly render Google’s lawsuit moot, not to mention Rockstar.

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