Google Finally Settles Rockstar Patent Row

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Google and Apple-backed Rockstar didn’t disclose terms of the agreement, as disputes continue with Samsung, HTC and others

Google and Rockstar, the patent consortium formed by Apple and other smartphone leaders, said they have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed last year.

Rockstar, which counts Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony among its investors, was formed in 2011 to acquire thousands of patents from bankrupt Nortel, and paid $4.5 billion (£2.9bn) for this intellectual property.

apple-vs-androidLawsuits

Aside from Google, Rockstar has filed lawsuits against Samsung, HTC and others, whose products use Google’s Android software, alleging the companies violate seven Nortel patents related to search technology used in Google’s mobile advertising platform.

An announcement by the Texas court handling the case said the parties have signed a statement of terms that “settles, in principle, all matters in controversy between the parties”.

Complex transaction

Rockstar has asked for a period of 45 days to reduce the agreement to a definitive settlement, an unusually long period that’s necessary due to the complexity of the transaction and “the number of additional parties whose claims are concurrently being resolved”, the court said in a statement (PDF). Google hasn’t opposed the deadline extension.

The terms agreed by the parties haven’t been disclosed.

Earlier this week Cisco revealed in an earnings call that it expects to pay $188m to settle its own dispute with Rockstar, which sued at least a dozen Cisco customers.

Google declined to comment.

In May, Google settled a patent dispute with Apple related the Motorola Mobility mobile phone business.

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