Google finds itself at odds with a company called Rockstar Consortium(referred to as Rockstar Patent Group and considered a Patent Troll) in a dispute over where the case proceedings should take place for the lawsuit issued by Rockstar, and the counter suit issued by Google, which were both filed last year. Rockstar was formed by five major companies as a way to outbid Google for the Nortel Patent portfolio(which Rockstar obtained) and consists of Apple, Research In Motion(Blackberry), Sony, Microsoft, and Ericsson.
The lawsuit filed by Rockstar was recently filed as of last October in East Texas, and Google responded by filing a counter suit in Northern California where the search giant is based out of. The latest news surrounding the issue is that Rockstar looks to be seeking to have the case handled in eastern Texas, and dismiss the California based counter suit altogether. Claudia Wilken who is the US District Judge, is the person overseeing the case proceedings and was presented with the arguments from both companies today. The issue currently at hand doesn’t seem to be about the patents themselves, but more about the venue in which the case is to be held. Eastern Texas is said to be a location where defendants in patent cases have a disadvantage, which is why Google wants to have the case held in Northern California. If the disadvantage is truly a factor in the Eastern Texas location, it would make sense as to why Rockstar seeks to hold the case there instead.
Regardless of Rockstar’s attempts to keep the case proceedings held in the original location where their lawsuit was filed, Wilken seems to be in favor of allowing both Google and Rockstar to gather evidence regarding the issue with the location of the case proceedings, stating that she would take another look and issue a written order. Rockstar’s lawyer Doug Cawley makes claims that discovery on the venue matter is fruitless, while Google’s lawyer Matthew Warren attempted to focus on the fact that Rockstar had close ties to Apple, who paid for most of what it cost to gain the Nortel Patent portfolio, resulting in further complication between Google and Rockstar. Google has stressed the matter that the status of Rockstar is a patent holding company that doesn’t offer any sort of product or service, and only serves to uphold its patents.