Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including… Read more Home Rockstar consortium sues Google, handset vendors for patent infringement Goggle Richard Handford Author Tags AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 01 NOV 2013 Previous ArticleAT&T mulling Vodafone takeover – reportNext ArticleTizen app contest extended as industry backing grows The group that holds prized former Nortel patents has filed lawsuits against Google, Samsung and other Android handset vendors.The Rockstar consortium, which bought the Nortel patents for $4.5 billion over two years ago, is backed by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony.Google is being sued for allegedly infringing seven patents, covering technology that matches internet search terms and advertising.The vendors are being sued over their devices that run Google’s Android OS.The other companies facing legal action at the hands of Rockstar are Asustek, HTC, Huawei LG, Pantech, and ZTE.The group purchased the former Nortel patents in a contest where rival bidders included Google.“Google placed an initial bid of $900,000,000 for the patents-in-suit and the rest of the Nortel portfolio. Google subsequently increased its bid multiple times, ultimately bidding as high as $4.4 billion,” according to the Rockstar filing.“That price was insufficient to win the auction, as a group led by the current shareholders of Rockstar purchased the portfolio for $4.5 billion. Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe the patents-in-suit,” it goes on.The case is filed in the US District Court in Texas.The filing was first reported by Reuters.
Life has become dangerous for those Russians who–despite daily brainwashing and state control–preserve a clear mind. In Moscow, 50,000 of them took to the streets in an anti-Putin march in memory of Nemtsov. Labeled the country’s “fifth column,” these Russians are so vilified on federal television that they could become victims of hate crimes committed by the people–or by the state. Many of them are openly asked to leave: Riga is fast becoming a hub for an escaping Russian middle class.Asked by a BBC presenter if Nemtsov will join the long list of unexplained murders in Russia, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov chillingly replied: “The list is not that long.”. On his weekly TV show Vesti Nedeli, Russia’s most famous propagandist Dmitry Kisilev told viewers that, for the West, Nemtsov was “more useful dead than alive.” The pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia reported that investigators are focusing on the Ukrainian intelligence agencies and Chechen militants as the main suspects in the murder.Yet, despite dragging Russia into the past and starting a European war, the Kremlin still has friends in Europe. Putin needs their help to dismember Ukraine and to stop democracy from reaching Russian borders. The Russian leader seeks support to realize his vision, in which any country that was once under Soviet or Russian rule should serve Moscow. Currently, Putin’s team of loyal dictators in Belarus and Central Asia are safeguarding his Eurasian dream. But now that Russia is in confrontation with the West and its economy is a ticking time bomb, Putin wants to divide the EU and create pro-Moscow lobby groups in Brussels. This not only involves supporting Europe’s far-right and far-left parties, but also courting entire mainstream political elites.Hence Putin’s visit to Hungary last month. Standing in front of the cameras in the heart of Europe, Putin told Ukrainian soldiers to surrender and mocked Kiev for having lost to “miners and farmers”. Meanwhile, separatists under Russian command pushed out Ukrainian soldiers in a bloody battle for Debaltseve, a key town in Eastern Ukraine.The visit was also meant to showcase Russian backing of Prime Minister Orban as an ideological partner, one whose nationalist rhetoric falls in line with Kremlin propaganda. Despite Russian aggression in his neighborhood, Orban has consistently deepened his links with Putin. During the war in Ukraine, Hungary’s friendship with Russia has been ringing ever more alarm bells inside the EU.Orban seeks closer ties with Russia while benefitting from NATO’s security protection and from the economic assets of an EU member state. When speaking to European diplomats, Orban claims he has no love for Moscow and that he only reaps the benefits of Russian money and gas. In reality, it is Putin who is exploiting Orban in his effort to show the world that Western unity is no more. By offering Hungary profitable trade projects, Russia can strengthen those EU states that can influence Brussels in Moscow’s interests. Vladimir Putin is fighting a war on two fronts. At home, opposition activists no longer risk jail, but death. The assassination of Boris Nemtsov at the Kremlin walls–one of the most policed places on the planet–turned a new page in the regime’s offensive against its opponents. Abroad, Putin’s tanks continue to roll into Ukraine and Moscow’s other neighbors feel threatened.But just as he’s apparently managed to winnow out his political enemies at home, the Russian dictator is still making friends on the Western front. Only last month, Putin demonstrated that it is possible–despite Western sanctions and ongoing aggression in Ukraine–to build a partnership with a European Union state. In his first visit to a European Union country in nine months, Putin visited Hungary and cuddled up to his emerging new ally, Prime Minister Viktor Orban. From Budapest, he sent a clear message: We are ready to support any European country that has grievances with Brussels or Washington.A year after the annexation of Crimea, Putin’s Russia is looking ever more like an expansionist fascist state. “Putin has brought Nazism into politics,” Nemtsov told a reporter hours before he was shot. As the regime aims to destroy critical thinking, years of round-the-clock propaganda–hugely intensified by the Ukraine campaign–has taken its toll on Russian society. Many Russians are ready for war: this can be seen in the numbers of men who left their homes to fight in Ukraine as volunteers (alongside regular Russian troops). Hungary is not alone in looking to the Kremlin. Russia has been making inroads in Central and Southeast Europe for years. With heavy Russian investment in their countries, the Czech and Slovak governments have consistently spoken against Western sanctions imposed on Moscow. The Balkans are increasingly becoming fertile ground for Russian destabilization. And, since Syriza’s electoral victory in Athens, Greece has fallen to Putin.Two days after hosting Putin, Orban visited Warsaw. Though one of Europe’s firmest Putin critics and most loyal defenders of Ukrainian sovereignty, Poland has until now been largely silent on Orban’s growing ties with the Kremlin and trampling of democracy. When the West condemned Orban for his authoritarian leanings, Warsaw defended him. Poland saw double standards from “Old Europe”: French and German populists were not a problem for Brussels, whereas Orban’s Fidesz party was beyond the pale.For Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the Polish conservative Law and Justice opposition party, Viktor Orban was once an idol. “We will have a Budapest in Warsaw,” Kaczyński declared in his election campaign in 2011. But since the war in Ukraine began, Orban’s flourishing friendship with Putin grew into a problem for Kaczyński, and the Poles are worried about their brothers-in-arms from 1989. The Hungarian received the cold shoulder from the Polish press and establishment. “Orban doesn’t believe in Europe”, read the front page of Gazeta Wyborcza, a major Polish newspaper. “I believe that Ukraine, a great European nation, should have the right to decide its own future”, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz told her Hungarian counterpart.As ever darker clouds descend over Moscow, the choice for European diplomats and heads of states is now between acting as Putin accomplices or adversaries. Europe can’t afford any more Viktor Orbans, just as it needs more Boris Nemtsovs.Ola Cichowlas is a journalist covering Russia and Eastern Europe. Follower her on Twitter @olacicho.This article was first published on politico.com on 03/03/15.