Google, Samsung and others sued by acquirer of Nortel patents Rockstar

Rockstar acquired Nortel's patents for US$4.5 billion after outbidding Google

The Rockstar Consortium that acquired Nortel Networks' patents filed Thursday patent infringement suits against Google, Samsung, HTC and five other companies.

In a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, Rockstar and subsidiary NetStar Technologies have alleged that Google has infringed seven of the patents acquired from Nortel.

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The patents, all titled "Associative Search Engine," relate to an invention used to provide advertisements based on users' search terms.

Backed by Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson and Sony, Rockstar acquired Nortel's patents for US$4.5 billion after outbidding Google in 2011.

Google later acquired Motorola Mobility last year for $12.5 billion, in a deal that aimed at ownership of Motorola's patent portfolio.

The search giant was aware of the patents-in-suit at the time of the auction, Rockstar of Ottawa, Canada, said in its complaint. "Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe the patents-in-suit."

The complaint, which asks for past and future damages arising out of Google's infringement, demands a trial by jury on all issues. Google could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rockstar and another subsidiary MobileStar Technologies have also filed a complaint against Samsung Electronics for infringement of seven other patents, including U.S. Patent No. 6,037,937 ("the '937 patent") entitled "Navigation Tool for Graphical User Interface."

Samsung Mobile Communication devices that have an operating system configured "to support Gallery, Email, Maps and Browser functionality," allegedly infringe claims of the '937 patent, according to the complaint. Samsung's Mobile Hotspot feature which allows sharing of a mobile device's data connection with other devices by turning it into a wireless access point is also alleged to infringe claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,128,298 ("the '298 patent") entitled "Internet Protocol Filter."

Rockstar has sued HTC for alleged infringement of the same seven patents that figure in the complaint against Samsung, while Asustek Computer is alleged to have infringed six of the patents.

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