Major Patent Dispute Pits Apple/Microsoft-led Rockstar Group vs Google, Samsung, and Others

Paul Lilly

The mother of all patent lawsuits

Patent disputes are unfortunately a common occurrence in the tech industry, but boy-oh-boy, the patent lawsuit filed by Rockstar may take the cake. In this case, Rockstar doesn't refer to Rockstar Games, makers of Grand Theft Auto V, but a consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony. At the heart of the dispute are thousands of former Nortel patents Rockstar purchased for $4.5 billion, and according to the lawsuit, several Android players infringe on these patents.

Google stands accused of infringing on seven patents covering technology that helps match Internet search terms with relevant advertising, Reuters reports . That makes up the backbone of Google's search business, so this is a pretty big deal.

In addition to going after Google, Rockstar also filed patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, Asus, Pantech, and ZTE. Notice a trend? Every single company builds Android devices.

If and when this case goes to trial, you can bet Rockstar's legal team will point out the fact that Google tried to acquire Nortel's patents for $900 million back in 2001, and then eventually increased its bid to $4.4 billion. Rockstar ultimately won the bidding war, prompting Google to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, which was primarily motivated by Motorola's patent portfolio.

Stay tuned, this is going to be big.

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