Google, Samsung, Huawei sued over Nortel patents

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:57pm EDT

Google Inc's logo is seen at an office in Seoul in this May 3, 2011 file photograph. REUTERS/Truth Leem/Files

Google Inc's logo is seen at an office in Seoul in this May 3, 2011 file photograph.

Credit: Reuters/Truth Leem/Files

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The group that owns thousands of former Nortel patents filed a barrage of patent lawsuits on Thursday against cell phone manufacturers including Google, the company it outbid in the Nortel bankruptcy auction.

Rockstar, the consortium that bought the Nortel patents for $4.5 billion, sued Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, HTC Corp, Huawei and four other companies for patent infringement in U.S. District Court in Texas. Rockstar is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony.

Google is accused of infringing seven patents. The patents cover technology that helps match Internet search terms with relevant advertising, the lawsuit said, which is the core of Google's search business.

A Google spokesman declined to comment. Representatives for Samsung, Huawei, HTC and Rockstar could not immediately be reached.

Samsung, Huawei and HTC all manufacture phones that operate on Google's Android operating system, which competes fiercely with Apple and Microsoft mobile products.

In 2011 Google placed an initial $900 million bid for Nortel's patents. Google increased its bid several times, ultimately offering as much as $4.4 billion.

After losing out to Rockstar on the Nortel patents, Google went on to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, a deal driven partly by Motorola's library of patents.

"Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe," the lawsuit said.

Rockstar is seeking increased damages against Google, as it claims Google's patent infringement is willful, according to the complaint.

The Google case in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas is Rockstar Consortium US LP and Netstar Technologies LLC vs. Google, 13-893.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; editing by Andrew Hay and Leslie Adler)

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Comments (3)
tangogo68 wrote:
I seem to recall Google bidding on a batch of patents, and thinking it was funny to bid Pi billion (i.e. $3.14 etc. billion) — if it was for this batch, then I suppose they’re not laughing as loud now — I hope for their sake the advertising dollars keep pouring in.

Oct 31, 2013 12:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
GaryMN wrote:
Google will need a new campus for their legal teams soon.

Nov 01, 2013 1:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
skiimaan wrote:
The lawsuit sounds legit. It’s been a clear and present infringement of the “search terms to ads” patent. Google should change their name to gUhglOh as of now. I think at least half of guhgloh’s past profit must go the plaintiff.

Nov 03, 2013 12:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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