It seems that either Google or Rockstar (the industry consortium, not the game developers) has decided to throw in the towel. Details are still unclear on who called it quits first, but the fact of the matter is that, at least in the patent case filed in Texas, Google and Rockstar have reached an agreement to settle “all matters of controversy”. It is highly likely that a large amount of money will also be involved. But what’s even less clear is how it will affect Android, who is at the heart of the litigation.
The case was like the clash of titans. Rockstar, whose members included Apple, Microsoft, and Sony, outbid Google over now defunct Nortel Networks’ patents, a whopping sum of $4.5 billion. A few years later in Texas, Rockstar sued Google and some of its OEM partners such as Samsung and Huawei, over those same patents. But more than just specific companies, the lawsuit was seen as an attack on Android as well, with the defendants simply being the representatives of the platform.
Naturally, Google tried to fight back. The search giant tried to move the case away from Texas which enjoys notoriety for siding with patent holders. Google asked a California court to summarily declare that Android does not infringe on those patents. It also came short of calling Rockstar a patent troll, whose sole purpose is to look at devices to see if they can extort licensing fees under threat of patent litigation. It also sued Rockstar back for unfairly targeting Android device makers.
While the matter in California is still pending, the case in Texas is now all but closed. Naturally, neither company has made a statement yet and neither will disclose the terms of the settlement. The two have reportedly reached a term sheet that will be hammered out into a definitive agreement in the coming weeks, after which we will most likely hear the “official” take on the matter. The Texas court filing makes no mention of the other defendants in Rockstar’s lawsuit.