What's At Stake For Google & Android In Rockstar's Patent Lawsuit

Dan Rowinski | ReadWrite | November 4, 2013

A patent troll created by Apple, Microsoft and others finally takes on Google directly.

Google’s Android operating system may be the rock star of mobile world, but it has another group of rock stars that are trying to knock it from its perch.

Google, Samsung, HTC and basically every major Android hardware manufacturer have been hit with a patent lawsuit from the Rockstar Consortium, a group jointly owned by the likes of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony based on patents acquired from the Nortel bankruptcy auction in 2011. The suits were filed last week in the U.S. District Court, Eastern Texas Division.

Google tried to purchase the Nortel patents during the auction in 2011. How serious its interest was at the time has been brought into question, as some view that Google was just trying to drive up the price of the patents for its competitors. The portfolio of about 4,000 patents sold to the Rockstar group for about $4.5 billion. Google later bought Android manufacturer Motorola for $12.5 billion in what is believed to be a bid to acquire its nearly 17,000 mobile related patents.