Google and some of its Android device partners are currently being targeted by a patent lawsuit ironically revolving around search and advertising, the very heart of Google’s business and profits. The plaintiff, in this case, is the Rockstar consortium that outbid the giant over purchasing patents from the bankrupt Nortel Networks.
In 2011, Google and the Rockstar consortium underwent a bidding process for several of Nortel’s patents. Google placed an initial $900 million bid but eventually stopped at $4.4 billion. The consortium then swooped in with $4.5 billion. Google later purchased Motorola Mobility for almost half its Nortel bid, at $12.5 billion, in order to protect itself using Motorola’s own patents.
The Rockstar consortium has now filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the US District Court of Texas, a favorite venue of patent litigation. Along with Google are Samsung, Huawei, and HTC as defendants. Perhaps it is quite curious to note that the Rockstar consortium is made up of Microsoft, Apple BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, who, with the exception of Sony, are mostly rivals of the Android platform.
According to the lawsuit, Google has infringed and continues to infringe on seven yet unnamed patents owned by Nortel even after it lost the bidding process. Rockstar is thus seeking higher damages. At the moment, none of the defendants have made any public comment about the lawsuit.