Microsoft, BlackBerry, Google: In what seems to be one of the biggest stand-offs between technology giants this year, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) and Ericsson (ADR) (NASDAQ:ERIC), who jointly own Rockstar, sued Samsung Electronics, Huawei and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) today. These firms are being sued for patent infringement in a U.S. District Court in Texas, and could face hefty fines if the Rockstar consortium is proven right in its claims.
Since this is a highly interesting lawsuit, involving several major players from the technology industry, lets take a closer look at the issues, after you take a look at this video about the case:
The Rockstar consortium bought the Nortel patents for $4.5 billion back in 2011. The group is comprised of Microsoft, Apple, Blackberry, Sony and Ericsson, and is responsible for outbidding Google, when it tried to acquire Nortel’s patents for $900 million just two years ago. Google eventually bid up to $4.4 billion for the rights, yet was continuously outbid by the conglomerate of tech companies behind Rockstar.
2) What did Google do, anyway?
The tech giant is currently accused of infringing seven separate patents relating to the search business. According to the lawsuit, some of these patents involve certain technology, which is designed to match Internet search terms with significant advertising. This is naturally one of Google’s core business items, and hence, the lawsuit could deal a heavy blow to the firm. Unfortunately, Google has yet to issue a statement regarding its possible patent infringement. Rockstar consortium members also failed to comment on the issue at hand, but their intentions seem clear, as they could virtually destroy rival Google if proven right.
3) Rockstar’s position: It’s their fault!
According to the Rockstar consortium, which intends to get full damages, the patent infringement perpetrated by Google was willful. Apple, Microsoft and the others, claimed in the lawsuit that, “Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe.”
4) What about the others?
Samsung, LG, ASUS, HTC, Pantech, ZTE and Huawei, all accompany Google in this lawsuit, facing similar charges of patent infringement. Apparently, a proper patent war is starting, since all these firms manufacture Android-based mobile devices. Hence, Apple, Microsoft, and Blackberry, seem to be heavily interested in challenging the rival operating system in the courtroom. It seems this will be a drawn-out process, as the Rockstar consortium will seek any possible route to damage Google, Samsung and Huawei.