Microsoft-Apple consortium case against Android manufacturers threatens Google existence

November 2
12:38 PM 2013

A group of technology companies that included Apple, Sony, Ericsson, BlackBerry and Microsoft sued several Android manufacturers over a massive patent lot previously owned by Nortel. The group was then named Rockstar Bidco. Nortel was an early innovator in the mobile industry. However, VentureBeat pointed out that the bigger story involved Google, as the case would threaten the search company's business.

The lawsuit against Google cited United States Patent No. 6,098,065. The case was won by Nortel initially as the bankrupt mobile company owned the patent idea to match search terms with relevant advertising. Nortel's patents, including the contested one, was subsequently acquired by Rockstar Bidco in 2011 for USD4.5 billion.

The Microsoft-Apple consortium argued in court that Google needed to cease infringing their patents.

Citing Google's early efforts to acquire Nortel's patent lot, the consortium claimed, "Google placed an initial bid of $900,000,000 for the patents-in-suit and the rest of the Nortel portfolio. Google subsequently increased its bid multiple times, ultimately bidding as high as $4.4 billion. That price was insufficient to win the auction, as a group led by the current shareholders of Rockstar purchased the portfolio for $4.5 billion. Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe the patents-in-suit."

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