Google files lawsuit against Rockstar in move against Microsoft, Apple
31st Dec 2013 | 08:00
Android manufacturer hits back at patent trolling
Rockstar, a company formed by Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry to target numerous tech companies with patent lawsuits, is being sued by Google.
Google has reportedly decided to sue the consortium to protect some its key Android partners like ASUS. This move seems to be in direct response to Rockstar's storm of lawsuit filings in October, which targeted half a dozen Android device manufacturers.
Patent lawsuits, also known as patent trolling, have become a major problem in the technology industry and many companies discover they can use patents for more than just protecting their ideas.
Few people had heard of Rockstar prior to its myriad lawsuit filings in October. Even now, since the group does not actually do anything other than threaten companies with lawsuits, the average consumer does not know about it.
The group was formed after the companies paid a total of $4.5 billion (£2.73 billion, AU$5 billion) in 2012 to receive a plethora of patents once held by defunct Canadian telco company Nortel.
After Rockstar filed lawsuits against numerous Android device manufactures in October, it was only a matter of time before Google fought back to protect some of its most important money-making partners from massive lawsuits. That time has come and Google is all but calling Rockstar a patent troll.
According to Google's filing "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."
At the same time as Google is waging a legal battle against Rockstar for its lawsuits, the U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will be ruling next year if software patents lawsuits should even be heard in the courts. If the Supreme Court rules that software cannot be fought for in legal battles, many of Rockstar's claims will no longer be as much of an issue for Google.