Patent litigation lawsuits continue to rise among the tech giants in Silicon Valley as the competition in mobile products grows more fiercely competitive.
Backed by Microsoft, Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony, Rockstar acquired Nortel Networks’ patents for US$4.5 billion after outbidding Google in 2011. Last year, the consortium sued numerous handset manufacturers whose phones operate on the Android operating system, which competes with Apple mobile products.
Later, Rockstar filed its lawsuit in a Texas federal court, which tends to be viewed as a forum for patent owners. In a bid to move the litigation to Northern California, Google asked U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken to rule that it had not infringed the patents Rockstar sued over in Texas. Later, Rockstar filed papers to dismiss Google’s California case, arguing that the proper jurisdiction is in Texas.
The lawsuits filed by Rockstar in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, have placed a cloud on the Android platform, threatened Google’s business and relationships with its customers and partners and its sales of Nexus-branded Android devices, and created a “justiciable” controversy between Google and Rockstar, Google said in a statement.
“Because Google, the accused infringer, resides in California, much of the evidence is here. Some of the evidence may be in Canada or other states; however, that does not make Texas the more convenient forum,” Judge Wilken wrote in her order.
According to the ruling this week, Apple and Rockstar are linked for the case to remain in California. “Google demonstrates a direct link between Apple’s unique business interests, separate and apart from mere profitmaking,” Wilken wrote.
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