Rockstar group takes mobile firms to court

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 November, 2013, 11:54am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 November, 2013, 2:58am

The group that owns thousands of former Nortel Networks patents filed a barrage of patent lawsuits on Thursday against mobile-phone manufacturers including Google, the company it outbid in the Nortel bankruptcy auction.

Rockstar, the consortium that bought the Nortel patents for US$4.5 billion, sued Samsung Electronics, HTC, Huawei Technologies and four other companies for patent infringement.

Rockstar is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony.

Google is accused of infringing seven patents. They covered technology that helped match internet search terms with relevant advertising, the lawsuit said, which was the core of Google's search business.

A Google spokesman declined to comment. Representatives for Samsung, Huawei, HTC and Rockstar could not be reached.

Samsung, Huawei and HTC all manufacture phones that operate on Google's Android operating system, which competes with Apple and Microsoft mobile products.

In 2011, Google placed an initial US$900 million bid for Nortel's patents. It increased its bid several times, ultimately offering as much as US$4.4 billion.

"Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe," the lawsuit said.

Rockstar is seeking increased damages against Google as it claims Google's patent infringement is wilful.