Rockstar Consortium with Apple, Microsoft, and Sony Suing Google Over Search Patents

What’s that, you say? You’re sick to death of the high-stakes patent wars being waged by huge tech companies against one another? Well too bad, because if anything, things are just escalating.

A consortium called Rockstar, which is comprised of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, is suing Google (and others) over an alleged violation of patents related to matching search terms with advertising, according to Reuters.

giant gavel, symbolic of the high-stakes tech patent wars
Credit: Sam Howzit via Flickr

When Nortel went bankrupt a few years ago, the Rockstar group outbid Google $4.5 billion to $4.4 billion for Nortel’s patents. Although Google went on to snap up Motorola Mobility and its juicy patent portfolio, the lawsuit alleges that Google continued to use the Nortel patents. The suit cites seven patents that Google may have violated.

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4, which uses Google search

Rockstar is also reportedly targeting companies that use Google’s search on their devices, such as Samsung, Huawei, and HTC.

The lawsuit could be problematic for players in the mobile industry, as the group is seeking damages, and the outcome of the suit could affect the way Google makes money and also hurt its relationship with its partners that are effectively caught in the crossfire.