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Apple-backed consortium sues Google, Samsung and others over Nortel patents


In late June of 2011, Apple was part of a consortium of tech companies that banded together to purchase more than 6,000 Nortel patents. The winning bid checked in at US$4.5 billion and came from a group that included Apple, EMC, Ericcson, Microsoft, RIM and Sony. Together, Apple and co. were referred to as the "Rockstar Consortium."

One notable company that was also gunning for Nortel's patents was Google, a company with a notoriously flimsy patent portfolio relative to many of its competitors. Google reportedly dropped out of the bidding war once the price hit the $4.4 billion threshold.

Interestingly enough, Google was reportedly asked to join what would ultimately be the winning consortium, but decided to go it alone. We'll have more on that soon, but for now, the story of the day is that Rockstar has now filed suit against Google, Samsung and others for infringing upon various Nortel patents.

Reuters reports:

Rockstar, the consortium that bought the Nortel patents for $4.5 billion, sued Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, HTC Corp, Huawei and four other companies for patent infringement in U.S. District Court in Texas. Rockstar is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony.

Google is accused of infringing seven patents. The patents cover technology that helps match Internet search terms with relevant advertising, the lawsuit said, which is the core of Google's search business.


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

This should get interesting.

You can check out the complaint in its entirety over here.

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