Apple and Other Rockstar Consortium Shareholders Not Involved in Google Lawsuit Decision

Late last month, the Rockstar Consortium -- a group of companies, including Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft, BlackBerry, and Sony, that purchased a collection of 6,000 patents and patent applications from the bankrupt Nortel in 2011 -- sued Google, Samsung, HTC, Huawei and others for infringement of some of those patents.

In an interview with Intellectual Asset Management (via TUAW), Rockstar CEO John Veschi, who was Nortel's chief intellectual property officer before the company went bust, said "It was entirely my call based on the facts in front of me." Shareholders, including Apple, "got an email telling them what had happened after the suits were issued.”

Nortel

What is important to remember about Rockstar is that it is essentially the continuation of what was previously the Nortel licensing operation – or the one that Veschi would have established if he had been able to see through his plans for the Canadian telecoms company before it entered bankruptcy. Veschi joined Nortel as its chief IP officer in 2008 and by 2009 had already established programmes for both its internet patent portfolio and the one relating to handsets. As a result, he and his team have actually been negotiating with parties for four or five years, not just the two since Rockstar came into being. “The real question is why it took us so long to initiate actions. We didn’t and we didn’t, but there comes a time when you have to. There is nothing magic about it,” Veschi says.

There was some pushback against Apple, after the initial lawsuit filing, from customers and pundits who believed Apple was behind the filing of the lawsuit. This interview would seem to be a response from the Rockstar Consortium, which apparently operates independently of its shareholders, that the decision was entirely up to the holding company's executive team.

Rockstar is likely seeking significant damages from Google and the other defendants, claiming that their patent infringement is ongoing and willful.

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Top Rated Comments

Technarchy Avatar
138 months ago
Lol, that's not even remotely true, and five minutes of Googling could have told you that...

I can't tell if you're deliberately trolling, or whether you yourself are actually ignorant.

Historically, Google has never used it's patents to proactively sue people.

All of the patent lawsuits that Motorola has engaged in were started long before the sale was finalized.

Is that right...

Google Press release AUGUST 15, 2011 Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility: http://investor.google.com/releases/2011/0815.html


And what happened in 2012 and 2013...

Google charged $14.5M for abusing Motorola FRAND patents in Microsoft case
http://9to5google.com/2013/09/05/google-charged-14-5m-for-abusing-motorola-frand-patents-in-microsoft-case/

EU Presses Motorola Mobility Over Patent Licensing
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323687604578466730481539330

FTC investigating Google, Motorola over FRAND patent abuse
http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/06/29/ftc_investigating_google_motorola_over_frand_patent_abuse

FTC staff recommends suing Google via antitrust law over FRAND patent abuse
http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/11/01/ftc-staff-recommends-suing-google-via-antitrust-law-over-frand-patent-abuse

Jury quickly reaches verdict in favor of Microsoft against Google's Motorola on FRAND breach
http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/09/jury-quickly-reaches-verdict-in-favor.html

Preliminary EU ruling finds Google's Motorola guilty of abuse of standard-essential patents
http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/05/preliminary-eu-ruling-finds-googles.html

And Now Google Sues Apple
http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/08/21/and-now-google-sues-apple/

Google decides to litigate instead of innovate, sues Apple over Siri and more
http://www.imore.com/google-decides-litigate-instead-innovate-sues-apple-over-siri-and-more

HTC Can’t Sue Apple With Google’s Loaner Patents, Says ITC
http://allthingsd.com/20120612/htc-cant-sue-apple-with-googles-loaner-patents-says-itc/

Google (As Motorola) Sues Apple Over Patents, Seeks US Import Ban On iPhones, Macs
http://marketingland.com/google-as-motorola-sues-apple-over-patents-seeks-us-import-ban-on-iphones-macs-19218
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
troop231 Avatar
138 months ago
I wish the Rockstar Consortium would make Rockstar put GTA 5 on the Mac. ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
victorhooi Avatar
138 months ago
That's exactly what Google had in mind when they gobbled up Motorola for $12.5 billion. They so wanted to bludgeon Apple to death with a massive portfolio of standards patents, but was smacked down by a couple of different governing bodies.

If they had those Nortel patents, bet your ass they would have gone after MSFT and Apple in a big way.

Lol, that's not even remotely true, and five minutes of Googling could have told you that...

I can't tell if you're deliberately trolling, or whether you yourself are actually ignorant.

Historically, Google has never used it's patents to proactively sue people.

All of the patent lawsuits that Motorola has engaged in were started long before the sale was finalised.

Apparently, from their public statements, the point of the Motorola purchase was to help them fend off other patent suits, and reach cross-licensing deals. Whether it's worked or not, or whether it's a good buy remains to be seen. However, Google and Apple are definitely not in the same field when it comes to litigious behaviour.

Cheers,
Victor
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
138 months ago
because they arent the ones who came up with the idea and obvs just use it to troll other companies with their "portfolio" of patents

You obviously don't know why a patent exists.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tiger8 Avatar
138 months ago
because they arent the ones who came up with the idea and obvs just use it to troll other companies with their "portfolio" of patents

If something has a patent on it, and you use it, you have to pay royality, period. In this case you just need to change the name of the company you are paying for. This is not trolling, and Apple and Microsoft are far from patent trolls.

Selling IP is nothing new, a lot of inventors invent something and they decide, years after using it, that they are done. They sell their invention and patents and retire to an Island. Equally, a lot of people still enjoy royalities from patents created by their parents.

This is not much different than those who bought multiple brownstones in Manhattan back in the 70s and now charge millions of dollars in rent every year. I mean afterall they neither built it nor even lived in it, how dare they?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tiger8 Avatar
138 months ago
pathetic how u can even "bid" for patents

Why not? A healthy patent portfolio is a great investment, I don't see what the big deal is
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)