Patent wars loom for Google and its Android operating system. Can it defend itself this time?
Google is under attack once again and on multiple fronts. The so-called Rockstar Consortium and Netstar Technologies have filed a major patent infringement lawsuit against Google and some of its mobile partners at the end of last week. More details can be read about the case here.
The group is, essentially, a patent troll with some of the major tech companies behind it, including Microsoft, Apple, BlackBerry, Sony and Ericsson. It has over 6,000 patents related to mobile telecommunications technology, which were acquired with failed Nortel in 2009 for $4.5 billion. Google lost that bid against the consortium but later bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion amassing some 17,000 patents.
Will this war chest be strong enough to defend itself in the lawsuit that attacks its hugely successful Android operating system in its very fundamental functions, such as "the ability to send advertising to people related to a search query"? Google has also been attacked on the content-side, held responsible for "not doing enough against piracy" by Senator Chris Dodd who has emerged as the main lobbyist of the Motion Picture Association of America.
While nasty (as attacks are meant to be), this initiative is also pretty dumb as it completely misses its target, namely the companies who actually pirate the content and allow free streaming for everyone. These are just two of the recent major attacks against Google in the US. Hundreds of other claims are pending abroad, namely in Europe (see for an example here) where media companies are losing the plot of the Internet age. Not easy to be successful.