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Patent war goes nuclear: Microsoft, Apple-owned “Rockstar” sues Google


nwoodman
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I wasn't sure where to put this one as it is relevant to a lot of the threads currently under way ;D

 

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/patent-war-goes-nuclear-microsoft-app

 

Canada-based telecom Nortel went bankrupt in 2009 and sold its biggest asset—a portfolio of more than 6,000 patents covering 4G wireless innovations and a range of technologies—at an auction in 2011.

 

Google bid for the patents, but it didn't get them. Instead, the patents went to a group of competitors—Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony—operating under the name "Rockstar Bidco." The companies together bid the shocking sum of $4.5 billion.

 

Patent insiders knew that the Nortel portfolio was the patent equivalent of a nuclear stockpile: dangerous in the wrong hands, and a bit scary even if held by a "responsible" party.

 

This afternoon, that stockpile was finally used for what pretty much everyone suspected it would be used for—launching an all-out patent attack on Google and Android. The smartphone patent wars have been underway for a few years now, and the eight lawsuits filed in federal court today by Rockstar Consortium mean that the conflict just hit DEFCON 1.

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