Rockstar Consortium agrees to drop patent suit against Huawei

Apparent settlement closes the book on one of a handful of suits filed against Android device makers by the alliance, which is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony.

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Rockstar Consortium, an alliance made up of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, has dropped a patent infringement claim it brought against Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei.

In a motion filed Tuesday with the US District Court of Northern California, both parties jointly requested dismissal of the lawsuit, which accused the telecom gear maker of violating patents the alliance acquired from Nortel Networks earlier this decade. The filing did not specify that a settlement had been reached, and CNET has contacted Huawei for more information.

The alliance filed a barrage of lawsuits in October, separately accusing Huawei, Google, and other Android device makers of infringing on patents that the alliance acquired from Nortel. The dispute dates back to June 2011 when the companies engaged in a tit-for-tat competition to purchase the bankrupt Canadian telecom gear maker's 6,000-patent portfolio, which encompassed technologies such as wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, Internet, and semiconductors.

Google tried to buy the Nortel patents for as much as $4.4 billion, but the Web giant eventually lost out in an auction to Rockstar Consortium, which bought the patent bundle for $4.5 billion. Google instead bought Motorola Mobility and its numerous patents for $12.5 billion in February 2012.

The consortium's lawsuit against Google remains active and accuses the Web giant of infringing on seven patents covering technology that pairs Internet search terms with related advertising. Google filed a counterclaim last month that said the alliance placed a "cloud on Google's Android platform [and] threatened Google's business and relationships with its customers and partners, as well as its sales of Nexus-branded Android devices."

The need for companies to have a so-called war chest of patents has become an increasingly important part of doing business. Mobile devices in particular have become the latest target of patent litigation, due to their combination of features that may have previously only been available in standalone electronics.

(Via Foss Patents)