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Rockstar and Google settle patent dispute

Google and Rockstar – the consortium owned by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony – have reached an agreement to settle all matters in their high-profile patent dispute

In an Eastern District of Texas court filing on November 17, the parties revealed they had signed a binding term sheet “that settles, in principle, all matters in controversy between the parties”.

Rockstar requested that the court grant a stay for 45 days while the term sheet is reduced to a definite agreement. The settement would bring an end to the high-profile litigation between Google and Rockstar.

Rockstar sued five companies in 2013, claiming infringement of seven patents directed to software functionalities implemented on general-purpose computing devices. Google was not initially named but supplied each defendant with the Android operating system software used in the accused devices. Google filed a complaint last December seeking a declaration that any version of the Android system does not infringe the seven patents.

Rockstar responded by amending its complaint to include Google, and moved to transfer or dismiss Google’s complaint. The Federal Circuit on October 9 confirmed the Northern District of California’s denial of this motion to transfer or dismiss.

Google has since begun proceedings to have the seven patents invalidated. In October it filed inter partes reviews at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board against the ‘551 and the ‘572 patents on October 17, and the ‘937 and the ‘572 patents on October 31. It followed it up this month by filing IPRs against the ‘298 patent on November 4, and the ‘973 and the ‘131 patents on November 5. This means Google has now filed IPR petitions against all of the patents at issue in the dispute.

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