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Rockstar Consortium and the Nortel patents

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Rockstar Consortium (previously Rockstar Bidco) is a patent aggression company created by Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Ericsson and Sony,[1] with Apple being the majority shareholder.[2]

It has 4,000 patents which were bought from Nortel, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer that went bankrupt. Nortel originally obtained those patents for defensive purposes,[3] so this goes to show that "defensive" patents can easily become aggressive patents.

Rockstar later sold a minority of these patents to Spherix, who went on to accuse Cisco of infringement.[4] Rockstar received Spherix common stock as part of the deal, so they have an interest in Spherix getting as much money from Cisco as possible, and they probably knew Spherix's plans (they probably wouldn't acquire Spherix stock without hearing the business model), so they could be see as litigation-by-proxy.

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Newest first:

Spherix sues Cisco for 'immense' patent infringement], 25 March 2014, itworld

[edit] References

  1. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120521/13194719006/apple-microsoft-behind-patent-troll-armed-with-thousands-nortel-patents.shtml
  2. "Google wins a game of “Escape from East Texas,” linking Rockstar to Apple". http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/04/google-wins-a-game-of-escape-from-east-texas-linking-rockstar-to-apple/. "A federal judge issued an order today decreeing that Google's court battle against a "patent troll" owned by its competitors must be fought out in California, not in Texas. (...) [Judge] Wilken goes on to note that Apple, a Silicon Valley stalwart, is the majority shareholder of Rockstar." 
  3. http://www.stallman.org/archives/2012-mar-jun.html#28_May_2012_%28Apple_and_Microsoft_patent_troll%29
  4. http://www.itworld.com/it-management/411566/spherix-sues-cisco-immense-patent-infringement


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