Google Among Many Sued by Rockstar for Patent Infringement

Google, Samsung, HTC and others are on the hotseat for alleged patent infringement on Rockstar technology — including patents related to messaging, notifications and graphical user interfaces. Rockstar, which is jointly owned by Apple, Blackberry, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony, owns and manages a portfolio of more than 4,000 patents purchased during the Nortel bankruptcy auction in 2011. The group filed a barrage of lawsuits against phone manufacturers late last week.

The consortium of Rockstar owners spent $4.5 billion to buy the thousands of patents at an auction in which Google was also bidding. In the two years since the Department of Justice approved the sale, Rockstar “has been devoted to reverse-engineering the patents and looking for evidence of infringement,” The Verge reports.

Besides Google, Rockstar filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Texas against Samsung, HTC, LG, Asus, Huawei, Pantech, and ZTE. Google and its Android manufacturers are accused of using patented technology in Android-powered devices, as well as technology that “helps match Internet search terms with relevant advertising,” according to Reuters.

“Pretty much anybody out there is infringing,” John Veschi, the CEO of Rockstar, told Wired last year. “It would be hard for me to envision that there are high-tech companies out there that don’t use some of the patents in our portfolio.”

The lawsuit against Google uses the fact that the company was bidding for the same patents as Rockstar in its case, stating: “Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe.”

Google responded with a statement indicating its advocacy for patent “reform” that would “address the current flood of patent litigation,” according to The Verge.

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