Microsoft and Apple suing Google with a war-chest of Nortel patents

When Nortel went bankrupt back in 2009, it sold its massive patent portfolio at auction in 2011 to a consortium of Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Sony, and Ericsson. The group bid $4.5 billion and won the war-chest of patents by besting Google who reportedly bid $4.4 billion. To little surprise, these companies are now suing Google to put a damper on Android.

Unless you have been living under a rock, Android has been dominating the smartphone market for years. While the cry of ‘fragmentation’ has been the largest vocal complaint from consumers about the OS, corporations, on the other hand, are trying to find anyway they can to stop Android’s progression by using more aggressive tactics. What better way to do this than to sue your competitor with recently acquired patents from the now defunct Nortel.

The consortium that won the patents is technically an independent company from Apple, Microsoft, and the others but these backers put in the cash to buy the patents for one reason only, to sue Google and that’s exactly what they have done. The independent entity, known as Rockstar Bidco filed suit against Google for patent infringement in Texas that includes patents for display advertisements when a user performs a search and another is for navigation tool for graphical user interface. There are a few other patents related to messaging included as well and along with Google, Rockstar is also suing Asustek, HTC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Pantech, Samsung, and ZTE with similar complaints.

Many believe that the only reason Google bought Motorola Mobility was for the patents to help fight the lawsuit that they knew would arise from the Nortel patents.

Microsoft has already successfully sued many Android vendors for patent infringement and it looks like Microsoft wants to find more ways to squeeze the vendors’ pocketbooks.

The idea is simple, if Microsoft/Rockstar can make it harder for Android vendors to make money off of these devices by means of having to pay a royalty for each handset sold, Microsoft hopes that they will either switch to another platform to make money (such as Windows Phone) or abandon Android and slow Google’s massive expansion in the smartphone market.

The patent party is only just now getting started and don’t expect this case to be wrapped up anytime soon. These types of suits typically take years to resolve and this case will likely be no different.

Source: ArsTechnica | Image Credit: Shutterstock: Gavel on a patent law book

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Greetings from China. Who is this Google guy you people in America keep talking about? Is he related to the Google that used to be here in China but dumped all their customers and ran away squealing like a stuck pig when the local boys seriously kicked their butts? We never heard from them again, except once when they told everyone "China isn't a big market".

To the writer. The deal Microsoft made with Android pjone makers was based on their use of microSD cards above 32GB because they require the exFAT format which requires licensing.

MS didn't pressure them to cut a deal. What they did was simple. They sued Moto and won and then went to the table and said to the rest. We are basically going to win in court. You can take the easy route and cut a fair deal, or you can lose in court and we get even more. So they simply did the smart thing and cut a deal.

What Apple is doing is far different. They are taking BS patents that shouldn't have been awarded anyways, that are mostly all GUI based and wnt sue happy trying to slow SOME Android OEM's The only ones they could really sue were those that use skins on Android. Since LG and Moto dont use skins, they had no leg to stand on. So they tried suing on other things.

But it hasn't stopped Android and it isn't going to. In fact they will come to a deal, or Google wll simply work around the issue. In the case where Samsung lost which was only twice, they simply made the needed changes. Teh court award Apple nothing. In the USA, Apple is never going to ever see that money which Koh already reduced to less than half and the rest Apple is never going to see because not only are those phones no longer selling, everything else has already been changed or works differently.

Apple is never going to get paid. However in this lawsuit we just have to see. Because a court could simply say, to buy these patents just to sue we will deem illegal and drop the case. Just because you bring a case, doesn't mean nothing. You have to prove your case.

TechieXP said,
Teh court award Apple nothing. In the USA, Apple is never going to ever see that money which Koh already reduced to less than half and the rest Apple is never going to see because not only are those phones no longer selling, everything else has already been changed or works differently.

Good grief! How can one person get so many things wrong in one comment? The court awarded Apple $1.2 billion. However, an amount of $600 million is to be recalculated. Current legal thinking is that the judge will RAISE the amount to closer to $850 million. And sorry, but yes, Samsung will have to pay. South Korea is a member of the WTO.

Even worse, there is a second Apple versus Samsung case due to start early next year. This covers the handsets Samsung released and that continue to infringe. This will cost Samsung even more than the last case.

And yes, this will stop Android. We all know Samsung have had enough and are developing their own OS (Tizen based on MeeGo) to replace Android. Tizen is patent-clean.

Then, to top it all, we'll soon see the court overturn the API copyrightability ruling in the Google versus Oracle case and the very ownership of Android will be debated. Sorry, but it all just appears a little too sordid.

Major_Plonquer said,

Good grief! How can one person get so many things wrong in one comment? The court awarded Apple $1.2 billion. However, an amount of $600 million is to be recalculated. Current legal thinking is that the judge will RAISE the amount to closer to $850 million. And sorry, but yes, Samsung will have to pay. South Korea is a member of the WTO.

Even worse, there is a second Apple versus Samsung case due to start early next year. This covers the handsets Samsung released and that continue to infringe. This will cost Samsung even more than the last case.

And yes, this will stop Android. We all know Samsung have had enough and are developing their own OS (Tizen based on MeeGo) to replace Android. Tizen is patent-clean.

Then, to top it all, we'll soon see the court overturn the API copyrightability ruling in the Google versus Oracle case and the very ownership of Android will be debated. Sorry, but it all just appears a little too sordid.

If you think some patent infringement lawsuit is going to stop Android, you must be kidding. As far as the court case? Like I said it was reduced to 1/2. We will see if Apple sees any of that money. Time will tell.

And I was trying ot say courts(s) because even in other countries where Apple did when on a couple, all the judge did was force Samsung to make some changes. And when they made them, Apple claimed it wasn't enough but the court felt otherwise.

As far as the US court? We will see. With all the BS Koh did that was illegal, Apple will likely not see a dime of that money. We have a law in this country and its call "DUE PROCESS" which she denied to Samsung on MANY occasions.

Even if they get some money, it isn't going to hurt Samsung.
As far as Tizen? They also had Bada...remember that?

Android isn't why Samsung got sued. They got sued because Apple claimed a whole bunch of BS that has to do with the TouchWiz overlay. Android isn't the problem.

Instead of getting caught on Brad's perspective or ArsTech's hyperbole, go to one of the experts and the originating article...

http://www.fosspatents.com/

Just to add some correction:

Microsoft didn't 'sue' several Android makers, they sued Motorola, the others agreed to licensing BASED ON MICROSOFT FILED PATENTS, not troll based patents.

The consortium tried to negotiate a licensing deal with Google, this was not just a run to the courts patent trolling.

Google threw some of the first punches in this battle.

Google has repeatedly abandoned their OEMs with no legal protections for Android based on other non-Microsoft lawsuits. (Apple has been the main aggressor against Android, although Microsoft seems to be getting the NeoWin wrath.)

This is the first time Google is being brought into a general lawsuit along with the other Android OEMs, which may finally force Google to offer assistance to Samsung, HTC, etc.


(Brad's emphasis of 'Microsoft' in this article is oddly misleading.

He could have cited the battle with Google and Apple in the past or Apple and Samsung, but instead he went only for Microsoft anecdotal examples.

The group suing is not just Microsoft and in fact it was Apple that pushed for the lawsuit.)

Hold on, how did it start off mentioning a consortium that includes apple and RIM then ends up with big, bad, evil Microsoft being singled out as the instigator?

From Microsoft's perspective, one of the things they want is for manufactures to switch to/invest more in making Windows Phone devices. That does not apply to Apple or RIM.

efjay said,
Hold on, how did it start off mentioning a consortium that includes apple and RIM then ends up with big, bad, evil Microsoft being singled out as the instigator?

Perhaps the author was trying to get a rise out of the Neowin user base. Looks like it worked .

TruckWEB said,
Maybe Google shoud buy BlackBerry and get even more patent....
Trouble with that is that Google's competitors can petition the various international regulatory bodies to deny the sale on the grounds that Google's Android already commands a majority of the mobile OS market share and should be denied on competition grounds. I think the chances of such an attempted acquisition would have little to no chance of passing given this reality.

Google could simply offer to purchase the patents, and in some ways I'm surprised that they haven't attempted to do so. If that were the case, BB would have had to disclose that information.

Kinda misleading. Technically it is Rockstar who's doing the suing not MS or Apple (or Blackberry or Ericsson, or Sony or EMC; remember it's a consortium).

As much as I believe that competition is good for innovation, Android is a virus on mobile phones. Its fragmentation is abysmal for the platform Google should have taken care of this years ago. Couple that with Samsung's photocopying skills I call it a day with Android. With that said I own 2 Nexus 7's and I do enjoy them for certain things, but my iPad's work much better for everything else I do. My Nexus 7's frequently stop updating themselves or have app errors and other weird bugs, even with the latest OS. I don't even have that many Apps installed on either of them, just a few games and media programs.

Windows Phone/Surface is at least trying to bring something really different to the table. In the end it still has the limited walled garden of issues Apple devices *suffer* from but both of those platforms are much more stable because of it.

I also think Google needs a bit of a taste of their own patent medicine. I agree the patent system is totally broken but I am glad to watch how this plays out, hopefully not in favor of Google.

zeroomegazx said,
As much as I believe that competition is good for innovation, Android is a virus on mobile phones. Its fragmentation is abysmal for the platform Google should have taken care of this years ago. Couple that with Samsung's photocopying skills I call it a day with Android. With that said I own 2 Nexus 7's and I do enjoy them for certain things, but my iPad's work much better for everything else I do. My Nexus 7's frequently stop updating themselves or have app errors and other weird bugs, even with the latest OS. I don't even have that many Apps installed on either of them, just a few games and media programs.

Windows Phone/Surface is at least trying to bring something really different to the table. In the end it still has the limited walled garden of issues Apple devices *suffer* from but both of those platforms are much more stable because of it.

I also think Google needs a bit of a taste of their own patent medicine. I agree the patent system is totally broken but I am glad to watch how this plays out, hopefully not in favor of Google.


So, you have problems with the Nexus 7, yet bought 2?

Sounds legit.

adrynalyne said,


So, you have problems with the Nexus 7, yet bought 2?

Sounds legit.

Perhaps he bought the first gen and the second gen? They are priced at impulse buy level. I'm a self-proclaimed Apple Fanboy, but I've been tempted myself to buy one. My wife beet me down when I mentioned it right after the 2nd gen N7 was released. Looks like I'm holding on to my iPad 3 for a bit longer .

zeroomegazx said,

Windows Phone/Surface is at least trying to bring something really different to the table. In the end it still has the limited walled garden of issues Apple devices *suffer* from but both of those platforms are much more stable because of it.

how is WP/surface bringing anything different to the table when all they are really doing is trying to play catch up after coming very late to the party, and now suing to get their way?

zeroomegazx said,
As much as I believe that competition is good for innovation, Android is a virus on mobile phones. Its fragmentation is abysmal for the platform Google should have taken care of this years ago.

Fragmentation is not that big of a problem than what people like to make it out to be. It hasnt slowed Android down or put people off hte platform. Just a subject competition likes to harp on to slam Android.


Couple that with Samsung's photocopying skills I call it a day with Android. With that said I own 2 Nexus 7's and I do enjoy them for certain things, but my iPad's work much better for everything else I do. My Nexus 7's frequently stop updating themselves or have app errors and other weird bugs, even with the latest OS. I don't even have that many Apps installed on either of them, just a few games and media programs.

Samsung doesnt represent Android as whole so I hope you are not basing your opinion on Android with them in mind. As for the N7, I use mine everyday and have had ZERO problems with it. Always works.


I also think Google needs a bit of a taste of their own patent medicine. I agree the patent system is totally broken but I am glad to watch how this plays out, hopefully not in favor of Google.

All depends really. It is obvious what Apple and MS is doing with their patents and why they are suing Google. What I find funny is people complained bout Google buying Moto for their patents and then turing around and suing others for using them. Same situation here but the shoe is on the other foot. Doesnt make it right tho...for anyone. I hope this plays out well for the consumers and not for any of the companies involved in the fight.

Shadrack said,

Perhaps he bought the first gen and the second gen? They are priced at impulse buy level. I'm a self-proclaimed Apple Fanboy, but I've been tempted myself to buy one. My wife beet me down when I mentioned it right after the 2nd gen N7 was released. Looks like I'm holding on to my iPad 3 for a bit longer .

I have owned both. His issue is his lack of knowing how to use it, or he rooted them and screwed them up (more likely).

adrynalyne said,

I have owned both. His issue is his lack of knowing how to use it, or he rooted them and screwed them up (more likely).

Haven't rooted either, I only use netflix, DicePlayer, RDP/VNC, a few games here and there only from the Play Store. I can't use facebook or exchange mail or else the battery dies in 4 hours.

I have even wiped my 16gb nexus 7 twice after OS updates in hopes of fixing the issues i've been having.

Google probably determined that it could get a settlement (or ruling) for less than 4.4 billion otherwise they would have bid it up some more. The Samsung v Apple lawsuit ended in a ~2 billion ruling which looks like it might erode away some.

Apple, MS, et. al. may actually win the lawsuit but in all actuality be out a few billion when the ruling is only for ~1 billion or w/e.

What a terrific waste of time that hurts consumer by eliminating competition and hurts American jobs.

While this lawsuit could be beneficial to MS, they didn't join the consortium for the sole purpose of suing Google. It was more about not letting Google have those patents (and then gain a lot of power) + protection. Rockstar _is_ an independent company, and if MS says they won't use the patents for bad stuff, Rockstar are not affected by that. I admit it's a good strategy though, because Google has little to counter-sue because Rockstar has no production.

pantera9 said,
While this lawsuit could be beneficial to MS, they didn't join the consortium for the sole purpose of suing Google. It was more about not letting Google have those patents (and then gain a lot of power) + protection. Rockstar _is_ an independent company, and if MS says they won't use the patents for bad stuff, Rockstar are not affected by that. I admit it's a good strategy though, because Google has little to counter-sue because Rockstar has no production.

That's the whole point of using shell trolls.

While not exactly the same, the strategy is similar to Microsoft funding SCO back when they were engaged with IBM: attack by proxy.

If you can't beat them, sue them huh?

Apple is the only maker of iOS devices. Nokia, and a handful of others, the only makers of Windows Phones. Everyone else have adapted to Android. So how exactly is suing Google going to make Apple and Microsoft get on top?

"display advertisements when a user performs a search and another is for navigation tool for graphical user interface." - come on, grow up.

Grow up? How about taking your emotions out of the playing field and realizing that when you steer a ship that is a company, it's all about making money and slowing down your competition, within the confines of the law. If you have a problem with these sort of tactics, take it up with the system that allows such tactics to be used.

dead.cell said,
Grow up? How about taking your emotions out of the playing field and realizing that when you steer a ship that is a company, it's all about making money and slowing down your competition, within the confines of the law. If you have a problem with these sort of tactics, take it up with the system that allows such tactics to be used.
"display advertisements when a user performs a search and another is for navigation tool for graphical user interface." - didn't Google do this first back in the 90s? It's like GooPhone suing Apple for copying their iPhone clone!

So anyone has the ability to severely slow down competition by issuing stupid generic patents? What I also meant was that the reason why Android is so popular is NOT because of Google, but instead, the number of handsets available. It would probably be safe to say that about 75% of handsets available for purchase on the market run Android.

Android reached the critical point, there are so many users using it that if stopped by some stupid patent, the people will end all patenting system all together

people dont give a crap about android, great many of them dont even know what the crap called under the touchwiz they hopelessly try to finger into seamless motion

and yeah, i really hope a legal attack will stop google because thats the only way to stop those *******s from intruding into every place they dont belong

morden said,
and yeah, i really hope a legal attack will stop google because thats the only way to stop those *******s from intruding into every place they dont belong

If you can't compete, litigate?

morden said,
people dont give a crap about android, great many of them dont even know what the crap called under the touchwiz they hopelessly try to finger into seamless motion

Hey at least they don't have to wear coolers while doing it because the tiles are too blindingly bright!

morden said,

and yeah, i really hope a legal attack will stop google because thats the only way to stop those *******s from intruding into every place they dont belong

If either of these companies really gave two hoots about that they should really be suing the NSA, and each other, don't you think?

blindingly bright tiles? so you have the experience of being so unintelligent to have no ability to find the brightness control (which is set to automatic by default?)

and yeah, they dont give two hoots about that - however microsoft and apple does not get money from selling YOUR personal data while google - as a data mining corporation BY PROFILE - de facto does; using their ecosystem is like hiring a thief for butler

and for the nsa part, you think google is in the clear?
classic tux-loving braniac who cant see further than the open software sticker...

ichi said,

If you can't compete, litigate?

thats what linux-fans said since forever
thats not the issue, google gives cheap crap for people, people like cheap and dont care about crap
however when cheap crap turns out to be cheap because of patent infringements it needs to be streightened out even if android fans feel something hurting on their backsides...

morden said,

thats what linux-fans said since forever
thats not the issue, google gives cheap crap for people, people like cheap and dont care about crap
however when cheap crap turns out to be cheap because of patent infringements it needs to be streightened out even if android fans feel something hurting on their backsides...

The problem here is that this particular alledged patent infringement was apparently not an issue until then patent changed hands.
We aren't talking about a company defending the ROI from their R&D but a set of patents bought and then used offensively.

There's no streightening there, it's competition through litigation, plain and simple.

so why cant google sign a cross-licence agreement like ALL the companies (there are such agreement between msft and appl, for example)?

and why should i feel sorry for them after what they tried (but thankfully failed) to do with the licencing of motorola patents on outrageous costs for direct competition?

morden said,
so why cant google sign a cross-licence agreement like ALL the companies (there are such agreement between msft and appl, for example)?

and why should i feel sorry for them after what they tried (but thankfully failed) to do with the licencing of motorola patents on outrageous costs for direct competition?

Google isn't managing all these patent issues the way one would expect such a big company to, that we can all agree with.

It isn't a matter of feeling sorry, using patents as offensive weapons is lame no matter if it's Motorola, Apple, Microsoft or anyone else.
In this specific case it's the bunch of companies behind the shell troll Rockstar.

All these companies have (and/or surely will) at some point go crying about how someone has stolen the IP they got from their own R&D, when on the other hand they go around shopping for legal nukes to try to topple the competition.

All those speeches about how they must protect their IP have become a big joke.

and despite all of this you just written you started this conversation with bashing msft/appl with "If you can't compete, litigate?" - so basically you defend google

however you comfortably forget the fact that your beloved google bought a company that basically IS a patent library for the prime reason of "patent trolling" - and please dont say google bought motorola for its own protection because thats bull**** (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_v._Motorola) and moto itself had ongoing legal cases before the acquisition which had been continued by google (but continuously fail, an appl example: http://realworldjava.com/node/2634072)

so following your version ALL companies are a big joke, all companies are trolls in which case i dont think its realistic to hit 2 of them with the comment "If you can't compete, litigate?"
and if you follow my version i can totally agree with patent trolling being counterproductive but google started this game by not givig a single **** when they made that frankenstein's monster of an OS by using licences on their own desire that otherwise have licencing fees

and if the price of kicking googles' nuts is waging a legal war against it im all in for that - the same thing happened with microsoft and the company ended up with a DOJ representative restricting all their moves over 10 years; google done much more than that to deserve something very similar

morden said,
and despite all of this you just written you started this conversation with bashing msft/appl with "If you can't compete, litigate?" - so basically you defend google

Defending Google? *sigh*

I just underscored what was implicit in both the post of yours that I quoted ("that's the only way to stop those *****") and the very news article ("corporations, on the other hand, are trying to find anyway they can to stop Android's progression by using more aggressive tactics. What better way to do this than to sue your competitor with recently acquired patents from the now defunct Nortel").

Your imagination must be playing games on you because I didn't mention (let alone singling out) Microsoft or Apple. Maybe it's not any beloved of mine what's being tried to be defended here if you needed to jump on that

Edited by ichi, Nov 3 2013, 8:44pm :

well, by bad then and sorry

and yeah i cheered on this artice because google keeps dodgeing every legal attack despite of the hardcore privacy violations they do ($25k fine for wifi logging? denial of data deletion when a nation [germany in that particular case] asks you after legal decision?) so i admit, i kinda happy when theres a chance of them getting a large kick

I don't see anything wrong with this. If google had all the patents, they would go after MS and Apple. It's not like they are any better.

Stoffel said,
I don't see anything wrong with this. If google had all the patents, they would go after MS and Apple. It's not like they are any better.

Not necessarily and def not if they still had a big lead over the competition. Most of these law suits are from those who are the underdogs and want to get a bigger piece of the competitions pie. Google isnt perfect, but MS and Apple teaming up against them....it is obvious what this lawsuit is about...and its not patents.

Stoffel said,
I don't see anything wrong with this. If google had all the patents, they would go after MS and Apple. It's not like they are any better.

You don't see anything wrong with acquiring patents to attack the competition through a shell troll company?

ichi said,

You don't see anything wrong with acquiring patents to attack the competition through a shell troll company?

It's not like google didn't try to get the same patents, they just lost the bet.

MS and Apple are no saints, but Google isn't any better.

techbeck said,

Not necessarily and def not if they still had a big lead over the competition. Most of these law suits are from those who are the underdogs and want to get a bigger piece of the competitions pie. Google isnt perfect, but MS and Apple teaming up against them....it is obvious what this lawsuit is about...and its not patents.

Um, yes, google would do the same. I know you love them, but they're at the same level as all the other giants when it comes to patent trolling.

spenser.d said,
I know you love them,

I like pretty much any company and dont limit myself to one company like a ton of people do. But I don't know how my like of a company has anything to do with this.

spenser.d said,

Um, yes, google would do the same. I know you love them, but they're at the same level as all the other giants when it comes to patent trolling.

Google doesn't have a history of being on the offensive with patent litigation unlike Apple and Microsoft. If they did acquire them, it would have been solely to defend themselves in case of a troll suite like this.

spenser.d said,
Um, yes, google would do the same

Never said they wouldnt. I said not necessarily and definitely not as long as they hold the lead.

Stoffel said,

It's not like google didn't try to get the same patents, they just lost the bet.

MS and Apple are no saints, but Google isn't any better.

Maybe, but that hypothetical case where Google might have bought the patents and used them offensively doesn't make this one any less wrong.

recursive said,

Google doesn't have a history of being on the offensive with patent litigation unlike Apple and Microsoft. If they did acquire them, it would have been solely to defend themselves in case of a troll suite like this.


Like recent FRAND abuse for which they have to pay fines?

oh and don't bring up it started before google purchased moto's mobility division. They had control and influence to stop it long before the purchase went thru. They could still just drop it right after the purchase (if they were the white knights you are claiming them to be).

Even now, they are trying to get judgment rules in such a way (against apple) so that they can sue people over 4G in coming months.

recursive said,

Google doesn't have a history of being on the offensive with patent litigation unlike Apple and Microsoft. If they did acquire them, it would have been solely to defend themselves in case of a troll suite like this.

Google owns Motorola, they bought the company after failing to purchase the entire mortal patent portfolio themselves. Microsoft and Co said "hey google, join patent club". Google said "nah man, we want it all for ourselves" and then bid the price up from ~1.5b to ~4.5b then decided to not buy it after all.

Google has used Motorola to sue both Microsoft and Apple.
http://gigaom.com/2012/08/18/a...ablet-google-play-improves/


Likewise maybe a year ago Motorola won a case against Microsoft's xbox console.

I'm not defending anybody here, they're all using a broken system to cripple their competitors. They're all pricks and the idea that anybody is "clean" at this point is laughable.

The solution isn't to cheer for one side to win, it's for reform. I think the only way that will happen is for companies that own multi-billion dollar patent portfolios to lose so much money to nonsense patent trolling that they demand reform. Right now the benefit of patents (keeping out new competitors who can't retaliate with patent lawsuits of their own) is not worth giving up.

The realistic end game is that the major factions sign cross licensing deals and enter a state of detente (the status quo before the iphone). New competitors are kept out, small players wither under the combined effort of bigger companies, and everything sucks for you and I.

ichi said,

Maybe, but that hypothetical case where Google might have bought the patents and used them offensively doesn't make this one any less wrong.

Google was offered to join in and buy the patents together with the others, it just decided not to and try to buy them all by them selves. That didn't work out and now they get sued probably because they are again using patented technology without paying for it.

Stoffel said,

Google was offered to join in and buy the patents together with the others, it just decided not to and try to buy them all by them selves. That didn't work out and now they get sued probably because they are again using patented technology without paying for it.

Everyone with a complex enough product is using patented technology without paying for it. If that wasn't the case then patent trolling wouldn't be a profitable business.

Hoping that some day a case like this will open up people's eyes. Patent trolls suck and the patent system in general sucks. Kind of funny that this wasnt a big deal until now. Not surprised tho since suing is the new way to get customers and to knock out/slow down the competition. I miss the days where a companies products spoke for themselves. Guess those anti Google campaigns are not working so time to sue.

Anyway, Google/Android is not going anywhere.

techbeck said,
Hoping that some day a case like this will open up people's eyes. Patent trolls suck and the patent system in general sucks. Kind of funny that this wasnt a big deal until now. Not surprised tho since suing is the new way to get customers and to knock out/slow down the competition. I miss the days where a companies products spoke for themselves. Guess those anti Google campaigns are not working so time to sue.

Anyway, Google/Android is not going anywhere.

Pretty much this. Never was there a more blatant case of "If you can't beat em, sue em.."

The fact is that Google is trying their best to take the open-source out of Android. They are controlling the mobile market and are binding the OEMs to their version of Android (which is the opposite of how OSS should work). It wasn't that big a deal if Android was the majority of the market as long as it was an open source thing that wasn't really bound to one entity, but once Google started to tighten its grip and taking control of the Android eco-system, that changed.

Good article that brings up exactly this issue: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets...rce-by-any-means-necessary/

I do hope that we'll see anti-trust against Google once this goes too far.

P.S. The days when the products spoke for themselves weren't the days where you had eco-systems like you see today.

Lamp Post said,
The fact is that Google is trying their best to take the open-source out of Android. They are controlling the mobile market and are binding the OEMs to their version of Android (which is the opposite of how OSS should work). It wasn't that big a deal if Android was the majority of the market as long as it was an open source thing that wasn't really bound to one entity, but once Google started to tighten its grip and taking control of the Android eco-system, that changed.

Google can change whatever it wants on the products they produce. However, this isnt stopping OEMs like Samsung, HTC, and LG from designing a device running Android that is different from what Google is doing with their devices.


I do hope that we'll see anti-trust against Google once this goes too far.

If it warrants it, I am sure they will get sued for antitrust like all the other big companies have. But not because people do not like Google and I do not want to see Google go away like many others do. Will just hurt competition and give people less choice. But every company needs to be "corrected" from time to time and Google will have to pay their dues like anyone else.

The single, most vital change possible they could make to the patent system is to make ownership not transferable. This will kill the patent trolls dead.

After that, limit the term of patents (especially technology patents) to a max of 5 years so that the original inventor can profit for a while, then it's entered into the public domain.

Lamp Post said,
The fact is that Google is trying their best to take the open-source out of Android. They are controlling the mobile market and are binding the OEMs to their version of Android (which is the opposite of how OSS should work).

So?

Chicane-UK said,

Pretty much this. Never was there a more blatant case of "If you can't beat em, sue em.."

You took the words right out of my mouth. Classic patent trolling right here.

Unfortunately for them, it won't have any affect.

Coming from the unholy combo of Microsoft and Apple, I wouldn't expect any less. Now that they have also acquired Nokia for their patents, expect more trolling from these two fine companies in the future as well.

Sony makes a decent profit on Android, so I am surprised to see them on that list though.

recursive said,

Sony makes a decent profit on Android, so I am surprised to see them on that list though.

So does Microsoft. They already get a royalty for every Android device despite not having contributed anything.

mrbester said,
So does Microsoft. They already get a royalty for every Android device despite not having contributed anything.

Except the patents and the work that went into the patents. You just can't simplify it that much. (I am not arguing that all patents are valid btw).

Kirkburn said,

Except the patents and the work that went into the patents. You just can't simplify it that much. (I am not arguing that all patents are valid btw).

Except that the only work they did for these patents is write a cheque to buy them.

recursive said,

Except that the only work they did for these patents is write a cheque to buy them.


Yeah, you're right. MS didn't spend billions each year for the past 25-30 years in research at all.

Shadowzz said,

Yeah, you're right. MS didn't spend billions each year for the past 25-30 years in research at all.

That has nothing at all to do with these particular patents. Read the article.

Shadowzz said,

Yeah, you're right. MS didn't spend billions each year for the past 25-30 years in research at all.

They're suing based on patents they bought - they're nothing to do with Microsofts own R&D at all.

It looks like the comment was in reference to the fact that most Andriod manufactures cut Microsoft a Check regardless of the patents from Nortel.

There is something that Microsoft has the patent for in all of those phones. Microsoft has gone to each manufacture and cut agreements with them. None of them has disclosed what that is though.

Shahrad said,
So dont make the product better than Googles, sue em, ffs lazy pieces of ****!

It's just not that simple once someone gains too much control of the market. One could have said the same for Windows and Internet Explorer. Yet the EU and US had to step in with anti-trust agreements in that case.

P.S. I know it's not the the exactly same case, but it shows how it's not as simple as saying "make a better product".

P.P.S. And what makes the better product in the case of mobile devices depends largely on app availability, which again depends on the market share of the OS to begin with. This makes it a vicious cycle.

Shahrad said,
So dont make the product better than Googles, sue em, ffs lazy pieces of ****!

Google have made using WP with google services a nightmare, on purpose. If a user is entrenched in google services then there is nothing MS can do but take this route because google are being d**ks in all of this.

duddit2 said,

Google have made using WP with google services a nightmare, on purpose. If a user is entrenched in google services then there is nothing MS can do but take this route because google are being d**ks in all of this.


So? WP has their own services, like Bing.

I think OP's point is that neither Apple, Microsoft or Google play fair, at any point. It's like disarmament, if you take down your weapons then you leave yourself weak until everyone else does, and you don't know if they will. Which is why they all buy patents, sell patents and sue people with patents. The best course of action is to either ignore or not to defend any of them.

duddit2 said,

Google have made using WP with google services a nightmare, on purpose. If a user is entrenched in google services then there is nothing MS can do but take this route because google are being d**ks in all of this.

What you say makes no sense. It is like saying IE and Bing should come installed by default on all versions of Mac and Linux.
It is really simple, if you like Google services, you use their platform. If you consciously choose an alternative platform, you will use the services offered by said platform, such as iCloud or Skydrive/Bing/etc.
I don't think microsoft was in a real hurry to bring the Office app, nor Apple to bring iCloud integration to Android either.

The way I see it, if you're a customer of Google's, it shouldn't matter what phone you use to access their services. Microsoft's services by example are available on most platforms (think 365, Skydrive, OneNote...). Apple has a bit of a different setup, but that's because their services are tied to the hardware. Nobody gets iTunes unless they have an iDevice for example.

Now, I'm not gonna tell Google how to do their business or anything, but as a customer, that just bites. As for the tactics being used, they are dirty, but they are legal as far as we can tell. Just like with the Apple vs. Samsung battle, if there's anyone to be mad at, it's the system that enables patent abuse. Of course, considering it was Apple doing it, people saw red and were furious. (which is sad because Samsung isn't that great of a company either)

Not really sure where I was going with this, as I'm not a morning person.

recursive said,

What you say makes no sense. It is like saying IE and Bing should come installed by default on all versions of Mac and Linux.
It is really simple, if you like Google services, you use their platform. If you consciously choose an alternative platform, you will use the services offered by said platform, such as iCloud or Skydrive/Bing/etc.
I don't think microsoft was in a real hurry to bring the Office app, nor Apple to bring iCloud integration to Android either.


Are you that thick? These services you are talking about supposed to be cross platform.

Do you really think that this will hurt Google that much. They will most likely come to an agreement to use those patents or have to pay a fine. This will also be tied up in courts for years and appealed several times.

Kyle said,
Good.

Finally Google's rein of terror can come to an end and Microsoft and Apple can bring peace to the world of IT.

I kind of miss the Apple vs Microsoft days. They were calmer, more predictable, but you could get a bag of popcorn to watch them play out for fun because at the end of they day you knew they needed each other and ultimately the consumer always won.

Google isn't playing by those rules, and while it makes for a much more interesting spectacle, the consumer (aka me) doesn't always win anymore.

You mean like the United States' fiber competition? The top 5 ISPs in the nation sure compete with each other to create better prices, right?

All a lawsuit like this will do is one of three things. The first, and most unlikely, is that Google is going to remove the features that the patents cover. The second is that Google will just pay the fines to keep those features in Android. And the third is that Google will use this as an opportunity to create new technologies that don't fall under the patents and in the process progress the industry further.

Google has never been one to just sit back and let other companies screw them. This is a great thing.

greenwizard88 said,
Google isn't playing by those rules, and while it makes for a much more interesting spectacle, the consumer (aka me) doesn't always win anymore.

Playing by Apple's and MS rules? Why should they when both companies are hell bent on suing Google out of existence. And what rules are you talking about? All companies have gotten sued for patent related issues...some are just more patent trolls than others and they grab up patents for the sole purpose of using them against someone else later.

techbeck said,

Playing by Apple's and MS rules? Why should they when both companies are hell bent on suing Google out of existence. And what rules are you talking about? All companies have gotten sued for patent related issues...some are just more patent trolls than others and they grab up patents for the sole purpose of using them against someone else later.

I get the feeling the comment related to the childish anti consumer behaviour of google against MS (which would be the same against iOS if it didn't already have large market share). You know, the whole 'we'll make no apps for your platform, and block every attempt at you making one, just to make your platform suck for people that want to use google stuff' kind of attitude.

I once liked google, but cant stand them now. They don't act like any of this is just business, they act like kids.

duddit2 said,

You know, the whole 'we'll make no apps for your platform, and block every attempt at you making one, just to make your platform suck for people that want to use google stuff' kind of attitude.

Google isnt the only one who isnt making apps for WP. And MS was not innocent in the whole YouTube battle either. Both are acting like idiots.


I once liked google, but cant stand them now. They don't act like any of this is just business, they act like kids.

I use what I want and take emotion/feeling out of the equation. If Google starts shooting babies, or something else really drastic, then I will not use them anymore. As far as fighting with other companies, that is between Google and whoever and really doesnt effect me much...if at all.

duddit2 said,

I get the feeling the comment related to the childish anti consumer behaviour of google against MS (which would be the same against iOS if it didn't already have large market share). You know, the whole 'we'll make no apps for your platform, and block every attempt at you making one, just to make your platform suck for people that want to use google stuff' kind of attitude.

I once liked google, but cant stand them now. They don't act like any of this is just business, they act like kids.

As far as I'm concerned, Google has played fast and loose with its bait and switch strategy. A lot of customers were attracted to Google because they promoted connectivity to their services on every platform. They used that to establish a customer base only to pull a 180.

Ha ha dude that is seriously funny. Its akin to saying "Good, finally democracy can end and Hitler and Stallin can bring peace to the world".

techbeck said,

Of course, because competition has never provided any benefit anywhere.


Competition is welcomed but not at the cost of stealing and infringing.

Crimson Rain said,

Competition is welcomed but not at the cost of stealing and infringing.

Prior to MS, Apple, et. al. buying these patents were they not in the act of infringing on them? Serious question, because I really don't know the extent of the patents or have done much research on it. But the patents seem related to smartphone OS, so I suspect there were some infringements being done prior to the purchase unless they had established licensing agreements.

Crimson Rain said,

Competition is welcomed but not at the cost of stealing and infringing.

Of course...but not what i was replying to. I said "Google isnt going anywhere" and the reply to that was "one can only hope" So I replied with my competition comment.

Shadrack said,

Prior to MS, Apple, et. al. buying these patents were they not in the act of infringing on them? Serious question, because I really don't know the extent of the patents or have done much research on it. But the patents seem related to smartphone OS, so I suspect there were some infringements being done prior to the purchase unless they had established licensing agreements.


For argument's sake, let's assume Rockstar's claims are 100% valid.

In that case, apple/ms/goog/sony etc all were infringing these patents. Nortell simply didn't choose (or didn't have the means to) sue them all. Now, they went bankrupt and put out their patent chest up for sale. These companies got scared and formed a company to buy all these patents so nobody else can buy these and sue them instead. The company is independent, however, because the money these companies gave to buy the patents, they all got a "free" license.
They were suppose to be able to buy these really cheap (per head) and even invited google to join them.

But what did google do? They refused to join, tried to buy it all for itself and in the process raised the bidding cost a LOT.

Given these circumstances and that Rockstar believes all of the sued companies infringe on their patents, it is only natural for them to sue if they (sued companies that is) refuse to take license.


Imagine you and your friends are playing a computer game. You (plural) didn't know or choose to ignore that it is a pirated copy. At some point of time, you guys decided that it is best to just buy out (together) the rights of the game (buying patents) instead of buying a copy of the game (licensing).

Now, out of all your friends, one a-hole, decided to buy the rights of the game all by himself instead of joining you. He failed to buy it but in the process of bidding, he managed to raise your expenses several folds. That's not all, in the end, he didn't get the rights of the game neither he has a legit copy of the game (licensing).

Would you just let it go or make sure he pays for it?

The fact that this "friend" of yours is your major competitor in business only adds fuel to the flame.

Crimson Rain said,

For argument's sake, let's assume Rockstar's claims are 100% valid.

In that case, apple/ms/goog/sony etc all were infringing these patents. Nortell simply didn't choose (or didn't have the means to) sue them all. Now, they went bankrupt and put out their patent chest up for sale. These companies got scared and formed a company to buy all these patents so nobody else can buy these and sue them instead. The company is independent, however, because the money these companies gave to buy the patents, they all got a "free" license.
They were suppose to be able to buy these really cheap (per head) and even invited google to join them.

But what did google do? They refused to join, tried to buy it all for itself and in the process raised the bidding cost a LOT.

Given these circumstances and that Rockstar believes all of the sued companies infringe on their patents, it is only natural for them to sue if they (sued companies that is) refuse to take license.


Imagine you and your friends are playing a computer game. You (plural) didn't know or choose to ignore that it is a pirated copy. At some point of time, you guys decided that it is best to just buy out (together) the rights of the game (buying patents) instead of buying a copy of the game (licensing).

Now, out of all your friends, one a-hole, decided to buy the rights of the game all by himself instead of joining you. He failed to buy it but in the process of bidding, he managed to raise your expenses several folds. That's not all, in the end, he didn't get the rights of the game neither he has a legit copy of the game (licensing).

Would you just let it go or make sure he pays for it?

The fact that this "friend" of yours is your major competitor in business only adds fuel to the flame.

That is a good analogy that (if true) proves my point that they were all violating these patents prior to the purchase of. Basically my point with your original argument:

Competition is welcomed but not at the cost of stealing and infringing.

Was that, hey, it looks like everyone involved was "stealing" and/or "infringing" on these patents at some point in time.

Crimson Rain said,

For argument's sake, let's assume Rockstar's claims are 100% valid.

In that case, apple/ms/goog/sony etc all were infringing these patents. Nortell simply didn't choose (or didn't have the means to) sue them all. Now, they went bankrupt and put out their patent chest up for sale. These companies got scared and formed a company to buy all these patents so nobody else can buy these and sue them instead. The company is independent, however, because the money these companies gave to buy the patents, they all got a "free" license.
They were suppose to be able to buy these really cheap (per head) and even invited google to join them.

But what did google do? They refused to join, tried to buy it all for itself and in the process raised the bidding cost a LOT.

Given these circumstances and that Rockstar believes all of the sued companies infringe on their patents, it is only natural for them to sue if they (sued companies that is) refuse to take license.


Imagine you and your friends are playing a computer game. You (plural) didn't know or choose to ignore that it is a pirated copy. At some point of time, you guys decided that it is best to just buy out (together) the rights of the game (buying patents) instead of buying a copy of the game (licensing).

Now, out of all your friends, one a-hole, decided to buy the rights of the game all by himself instead of joining you. He failed to buy it but in the process of bidding, he managed to raise your expenses several folds. That's not all, in the end, he didn't get the rights of the game neither he has a legit copy of the game (licensing).

Would you just let it go or make sure he pays for it?

The fact that this "friend" of yours is your major competitor in business only adds fuel to the flame.

He would at the very least owe me lunch,

recursive said,
Ha ha dude that is seriously funny. Its akin to saying "Good, finally democracy can end and Hitler and Stallin can bring peace to the world".

Except it's not

Shadrack said,

That is a good analogy that (if true) proves my point that they were all violating these patents prior to the purchase of. Basically my point with your original argument:

Was that, hey, it looks like everyone involved was "stealing" and/or "infringing" on these patents at some point in time.


Here is the issue: you usually do not go and actively examine ALL patents of another company.

Since Nortell was not sueing anyone or made complaints of any sorts, normally, you wont really know what/how much are you infringing.

It is only when Nortell was going bankrupt, their patents came in to limelight and the big guys found it valuable enough to team up and buy.

In patent business, if you are infringing a patent, it is actually ok to do so unless:
- you purposefully do it
- the patent owner just ignores you

However, the moment it becomes an issue, you need to pay up from the very beginning.

Kyle said,
You mean like the United States' fiber competition? The top 5 ISPs in the nation sure compete with each other to create better prices, right?

All a lawsuit like this will do is one of three things. The first, and most unlikely, is that Google is going to remove the features that the patents cover. The second is that Google will just pay the fines to keep those features in Android. And the third is that Google will use this as an opportunity to create new technologies that don't fall under the patents and in the process progress the industry further.

Google has never been one to just sit back and let other companies screw them. This is a great thing.

Fourth is the USPTO comes to its senses and abolishes software patents. Personally, I am rooting for 4th.

Kyle said,
Google will just pay the fines to keep those features in Android.

They don't "just pay the fines". There are damages to be paid as well. Don't forget a court has already ordered Samsung to pay over $1.2 billion to Apple - and that's just one small case. These "fines" could run into the tens or even hundreds of billions.

No, everyone in the industry will simply dump Android and move to something like Tizen/MeeGo where, using AlienDalvik technology, their handsets can still run Android apps. Goodbye Google. Expect Samsung to make the first move in Q1 2014.

Crimson Rain said,

Since Nortell was not sueing anyone or made complaints of any sorts, normally, you wont really know what/how much are you infringing.

It is only when Nortell was going bankrupt, their patents came in to limelight and the big guys found it valuable enough to team up and buy.

Tosh. Microsoft, Apple and Nokia were paying Nortel for patent rights before Nortel went tits up. These companies do not knowingly steal patent rights. Unfortunately we can't say the same about Google.

Major_Plonquer said,

Tosh. Microsoft, Apple and Nokia were paying Nortel for patent rights before Nortel went tits up. These companies do not knowingly steal patent rights. Unfortunately we can't say the same about Google.


If MS/Apple etc were already paying fees, then that's good. I was not aware of it.

I fully agree with your last sentence.

techbeck said,

Playing by Apple's and MS rules? Why should they when both companies are hell bent on suing Google out of existence. And what rules are you talking about? All companies have gotten sued for patent related issues...some are just more patent trolls than others and they grab up patents for the sole purpose of using them against someone else later.


Google started filing lawsuits based on Motorola patents long before MS and Apple filed this suit.