It’s final: the Rockstar patent case will be heard in a court near Google’s headquarters in Northern California.
It’s been nearly one year since Rockstar Consortium, a patent holding company owned in part by Microsoft and Apple, launched a major patent assault against Google. Now, the issue of where the case will be heard has finally been resolved—in Google’s favor.
Google took the case to the nation’s top patent court to get it out of East Texas and back to its home state, California. The matter of venue isn’t a mere sideline skirmish. East Texas courts are generally considered tough on patent defendants, with few cases resolving on summary judgment, stringent discovery rules, and last-minute scheduling decisions. Google’s Texas case was scheduled to be heard in front of US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap, who hears far more patent cases than any other district court judge in the nation.
Rockstar v. Google: A brief history
Nortel, a Canadian telecom company, went bankrupt in 2009. Two years later, the company’s patents were auctioned off. Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony, grouping together as “Rockstar Bidco,” spent $4.5 billion to buy the whole batch. Google bid $4.4 billion, seeking to beef up its patent portfolio, but it wasn’t enough. After the auction, Google’s top lawyer called the purchase a “hostile, organized campaign against Android.”
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