Friday, December 27, 2013

Google DJ Action of Noninfringement of Rockstar Patents

Alan Cooper and Suzie Lipton sent email that I should consider giving some coverage to what is going on with Google's counter-suit against the Rockstar consortium patents this week.

As most know, Rockstar consortium is a patent holding company that includes as shareholders Apple, Microsoft, and RIM that outbid Google to purchase patents from the bankrupt telecom company Nortel for $4.5 billion. Media suspects Apple and Microsoft are using the Rockstar patents as a proxy to attack the Android ecosystem. Also rumored is the patents are not worth what many bidders thought and some are even up for sale.

There are many articles on this topic, and rumors make it  difficult to know what is true. Part of the problem is the reporting from even stellar journalists mixes up even the basic terminology.

For example, in Google files counter-suit against Rockstar, seeking to avoid East Texas we were told "Rockstar Consortium, a patent-holding company formed from the bankrupt Canadian telecom company Nortel, sued Google and manufacturers of Android phones over patents almost two months ago" and "this week Google filed its counter-attack seeking to invalidate Rockstar's patents" (emphasis added).

I enjoy Mr. Mullin's contributions so I read the article, but found Google's complaint mentioned in the article was not seeking to invalidate Rockstar's patents. Instead, Google filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment of Non-Infringement for each of seven patents. It's not that the patent claims shouldn't have issued for invalidity; it's the patent claims don't describe Google's products or processes.

When much happens behind the scenes and one of my favorite journalists doesn't get the facts straight, you need to delve into the original sources of authority and/or wonder if it is not smarter to await further developments.

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