Google, Rockstar patent dispute to be decided in California court

Google had asked the appeals court to stay the Rockstar suits in Texas

Patent disputes between Apple-backed Rockstar and Google's Android licensees will be first decided in a California court rather than in a Texas court seen to be more favorable to patent holders.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Thursday that the Texas actions should be stayed because a suit filed by Google in California may be enough to decide on the patent infringement charges made by Rockstar.

The infringement contentions were nearly identical against all Android phone makers that rely almost exclusively on the underlying functionalities in the base Android source code provided by Google, the court said in its order.

Rockstar filed the suits in Texas in October against Samsung, HTC and other companies. Backed by Microsoft, Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony, Rockstar acquired Nortel Networks' patents for US$4.5 billion after outbidding Google in 2011.

In the suits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall division, Rockstar accused the Google partners of infringing some or all of seven patents. Rockstar later amended its complaint against Samsung to include Google and charged the Internet giant with infringing three of its patents.

Google countered with a suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California asking for a ruling that it does not directly or indirectly infringe the seven patents of Rockstar. The Internet company said the suits in Texas threatened its business and relationships with its customers and partners and its sales of Nexus-branded Android devices.

In the Federal Circuit, Google and partners were appealing an order by the Texas court, which rejected a request that the cases in Texas be transferred to California or proceedings in the Texas court be stayed until the California court has decided.

The appeals court described the decision by the Texas court to refuse to stay its proceedings as "a clear abuse of discretion." It also agreed with the California court's observation that Google's Android products, the target of the infringement action, were designed and created in California and the witnesses who can testify to the design and development of the Android platform's features reside near Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California. Rockstar did not name any witnesses in Texas essential to the suit, it added.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlelegalintellectual propertypatentRockstarAndroid OS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?