The battle between Google’s Android and the Rockstar Consortium group has been a long and otherwise painful dispute that has now finally ended it seems, with Rockstar deciding to give up on their crusade to punish Google, Android and Google’s Android partners and has sold all of the commonly held patents to a group called RPX Clearinghouse. The total sum that RPX ended up paying is around $900 million, which may have been able to help Rockstar Consortium gain back some of their costs from the years of court battles, but they’re also losing quite a hefty amount as the combined companies that made up Rockstar which includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Apple, Sony, and Ericsson initially paid around $4.5 billion for some(at the time)6,000 patents.
Now that the majority of the patents held by Rockstar are being held by RPX, RPX will then turn around and license the patents out to around 30 different companies which includes Google and Cisco. Essentially RPX has made an arrangement that will see them license the patents out so as to protect from frivolous patent lawsuits being initiated by patent trolls like the battles that have been going on in court over the past few years.
There hasn’t been any mention of Rockstar’s reasons for ending the patent cases, but in the end it means that all companies involved will have more time to devote to production of compelling products and services instead of spending their time and money on lawyers. Rockstar had what seemed like a clear goal of causing a major setback to the development of Android, but it hardly seemed to slow Google down. Perhaps Rockstar noticed this and decided it was no longer worth their time to pursue their initial goals. RPX’s co-founder states that “We are pleased to act as a clearinghouse and underwrite an agreement between the owners of Rockstar and our syndicate of licensees. Leading technology companies from multiple industries came together to shape this transaction. We commend everyone involved for their leadership and commitment to clearing the risk of the Rockstar portfolio by negotiating a reasonable purchase price in one efficient transaction.” Not only does this get rid of the risk of Rockstar initiating more court cases through the use of the patents being sold to RPX, but it also opens up new possibilities for companies to share the technology held by those patents which can only mean better things for the consumer.