A new front opened today in the patent wars between large technology companies, as a consortium that owns thousands of patents from the Nortel bankruptcy auction filed suit against Google and other manufacturers alleging infringement. Rockstar, which is owned jointly by Apple, Blackberry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony, filed suit in US District Court in Texas. In addition to Google, the consortium has alleged infringement by Asus, HTC, Huawei, LG, Pantech, Samsung, and ZTE.
Since then, as recounted by Wired, Rockstar has been devoted to reverse-engineering the patents and looking for evidence of infringement. “Pretty much anybody out there is infringing,” John Veschi, the CEO of Rockstar, told the magazine. “It would be hard for me to envision that there are high-tech companies out there that don’t use some of the patents in our portfolio.”
I told you Apple and Microsoft were patent trolls. They specifically set up a satellite company that owns nothing but patents, with the sole goal of attacking the competition in the courtroom instead of the market. What a bunch of low-life scum.
I’m surprised by Sony there, though. They use Android themselves.
There is a difference in this situation, in that the lawsuits are being brought about by companies that actually USE and MAKE products that utilize these patents, and not by NPE’s, non-producing entities that only hold patent portfolios and never make an actual product or use the patents involved for anything other than bringing lawsuits against companies that use them. That’s a rather significant difference.
This doesn’t make the lawsuits any less egregious, but it is a different situation. Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and the rest, make products that utilize these patents and, under current law, deserve to be compensated for their use if indeed they are being infringed, as the courts will determine.
Edited 2013-11-01 09:53 UTC