In 2011 technology powerhouses Cupertino, California-based Apple, Inc and Redmond-based Microsoft put their feuding aside to start a consortium that also included BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony and dubbed themselves Rockstar consortium. The purpose of the consortium was to outbid their common enemy Google for patents being sold by Nortel. Now, 2 years later Reuters has reported that the Rockstar consortium has used those patents to file a lawsuit aimed to bring down Google's giant android.
"This anti-competitive strategy is also escalating the cost of patents way beyond what they're really worth. The winning $4.5 billion for Nortel's patent portfolio was nearly five times larger than the pre-auction estimate of $1 billion," Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, wrote at the time.
Besidses Google and Android the lawsuit also targets Asus, Samsung, HTC, and Huawei, LG, Pantech, and ZTE. The lawsuit claims that these companies have and still are willfully violated no less than 7 patents that were acquired in that 2011 auction. If the courts fined that these acquisitions are valid then it could mean major fines and licensing fees that could all but cripple all parties involved.
"Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe," the lawsuit said.
Microsoft already has licensing deals with most of the manufacturers of android-based devices starting with HTC agreed to pay royalties back in April of 2010. Next it was General Dynamics signing an agreement to pay a royalty on each android-based device. Eventually 20 manufacturers signed agreements with the Redmond-based giant with ZTE being the latest.
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