fsse8info Rockstar Consortium is a large patent-holding company co-owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony. Those tech heavyweights pooled together $4.5 billion to buy patents belonging to Nortel, a Canadian telecom that sold its whole portfolio out of bankruptcy in 2011. In October, Rockstar launched a lawsuit against Google and its partners that made Android handsets. Since the company is owned by Google’s chief rivals, it marked a major escalation in the smartphone patent wars. Since then, Rockstar has entered into patent litigation against cable companies as well.

Now, Cisco has waded into the fray, seeking to stop Rockstar from extracting royalties from companies that are some of Cisco’s biggest customers. On Friday, it filed a counter-claim (PDF) in Delaware federal court, arguing that Cisco and its customers don’t infringe 28 different patents being asserted by Rockstar and its two subsidiaries, Constellation Technologies and Bockstar Consortium (that’s no typo—Rockstar named its subsidiary Bockstar.) 2     

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