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Justice Department Making Sure Nortel Patents Weren’t Purchased Simply to Hobble Smartphones Running Android

I’ll just start this off by quoting Eric Schmidt again, since the state of the tech world couldn’t have been described any better:

“We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations.”

To follow that up, we wanted to point out that the Justice Department is ramping up its probe over the purchase of Nortel’s some 6,000 patents by Rockstar Bidco (Apple, RIM, Microsoft, Ericsson, Sony, and EMC) and whether or not this group acquired them to simply attack Android smartphones.  If we take a look at that group, it would certainly appear as if they had no other reason, but we’ll leave that to the government to decide.

Back in April, the Justice Department stepped in to thwart another consortium of companies (Apple, Oracle and Microsoft) from using their recently acquired patent portfolio to unfairly hurt rivals.  All we can hope for is a similar outcome, so that we can get on with our smartphone infested lives.

All I really know though, is that I’m sick of seeing a new lawsuit filed each day by Apple against another company.

Via:  WSJ

Cheers jeesung!

  • Marcusrussell547

    the only real lawsuit apple has is with samsung making phones to look like the i phone. all the other lawsuits are bs and them being to lazy to advance the i phone. there mad cause the only thing thats better on the i phone is battery life and retina display. they can keep the retina display all i would ever want from a i phone on a android is the battery life. and to the 3gs selling like crazy it’s only 50 bucks. so every parrent who has an at&t contract and there kid is a teenager and wants a smart phone why not there still young yet and don’t need much in a smart phone

  • Marcusrussell547

    the only real lawsuit apple has is with samsung making phones to look like the i phone. all the other lawsuits are bs and them being to lazy to advance the i phone. there mad cause the only thing thats better on the i phone is battery life and retina display. they can keep the retina display all i would ever want from a i phone on a android is the battery life. and to the 3gs selling like crazy it’s only 50 bucks. so every parrent who has an at&t contract and there kid is a teenager and wants a smart phone why not there still young yet and don’t need much in a smart phone

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  • Tarsis Brito

    poor apple google started it all then palm make smartphones a little better then apple and rim follow up now nobody can not compete with the android world :) I just love my android operating system and MOTO YES I LOVE MOTOROLLA i know the people in here hate them because they do not want to unlock but still they are still the best build quality, speaker quality now with one of the best processor omap hdmi mirror what else do you want from them. Bionic here i come :)

    • Anonymous

      You should try using a period once in a while.  They do help out.

  • Farva0412

    I highly doubt android will be defeated. Hell if Google CEO isn’t worried why should we be. 

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  • Peter Bartholomul

    It would be funny if grocery stores purchase patents on apples. I mean the fruit was released first so if grocery stores purchase patents on apples then the company would get sued and be forced to change their name. Unfortunately it’s only a dream.

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  • Cgmartin33

       Are you speaking of the most sold smartphone of all time? If so I wonder what those numbers would look like if we only had an OG Droid, Nexus 1, and Evo to choose from since 2007 (God so many great phones I could have chosen…its hard to make this point) and we named them all “a”phones.
       As far as you feeling like your Android devices are “out of date” in a few weeks…at least you have options. The moment that magical new iphone drops there will be at least three Android devices on various carriers ready to top it. (Gotta love that!) If you want to look at the negative and pout about technology advancing then go back to the herd and get your one magical device every two years and hope to god you dont need a battery replaced.
       The last few family members that I have that haven’t had the chance to fall in love with Android are still on contract with their 3GS’s that dropped in late June of 2009 (2 years ago not 3)…much like your OG Droid you complain about. The point here is that (and I’m sure most of you agree) I would much rather have the OG Droid as an every day driver than a 3GS if you want to talk about 2 year contracts and “out of date” devices.
       And finally the comment about Android apps not making use dual core processors…they will. At least we will have had the option to play with dual core devices for a year before the October iphone 5 release. And I’m pretty sure even with that year to perfect the dual core iphone 5/app issues they might actually run into the same problem.
       It amazes me how people bitch about having options…that is what you are doing when you make comments like “what i hate about buying Android phones is that it will be outdated in a couple weeks.” Every iphone that was released had the same issue but it was outdated by an Android device. This is the exact reason that most people love Android, to have options. Some people love sense UI…jesus christ I cant believe Im saying this but I love a few things about new Blur. If you want to use a phone for two years without upgrading (because there arent any options for upgrades but every year and a half) and like to complain about options like UI overlays or hundreds of devices to choose from to suit your every need than maybe you should go back…i hear that the iphone4 finally has a flash on the camera and you can actually change the wallpaper now (much like my first LG flip phone).

  • Ravnos CC

    Protect your TCPIPs!

  • Jasonkcornett

    I know this probably is not the place to ask, but I thought I would try. I have a Droid X, and I downloaded and installed one of the Gingerbread Leaks (4.5.588.MB810.Verizon.en.US) 2.3.3. I now cannot get the OTA updates. My phone is NOT rooted, and never has been. I just want to be stock. I have tried to go back by downloading Froyo stock firmware……nothing has worked. My phone works fine, I just want to be stock and have the latest stock firmware. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for any help!

    • Tarsis Brito

      email me tarsis.brito@gmail.com i will send u a file where u can go back to froyo and then u just upgrade from verizon i do not root either it is a waste of time these phones are a beast now even if u do not root

  • Anonymous

    Honestly amazing that this purchase was allowed in the first place. Just a crazy example of a conglomerate trying to squash a competitor not through sales but through illegal practice.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, “legal” practice

  • http://twitter.com/blcklie5 John Guerin

    I knew this was going to happen. That’s Google made those crazy bids. They knew that this group of companies were bidding to attempt to push Google out of the market or make it too courageously expensive for Google to continue the Android Brand. They also knew that the government would get involved and prevent this sort of Monopoly from occurring.

    • Ravnos CC

      google making them spend $$$, sounds like a viable option to me?  innovate

  • djsuperior

    Totally agree with that!!! This lawsuit shit is getting outta hand, seems like not only apple but everyone is suing anyone just because they can.

  • Jeff Metzger

    This seems pretty important to me. Way more important then some blurry pic of a vapor wear phone we may never see. Considering Apple just blocked the Galaxy tab 10.1 from being sold in Australia, I’d say this is very important. Unless you want feel its alright for Apple to be able to control what Android based products are released.

    • Stephen

      It has at least been established that if Samsung is proven not to be in violation of any patents that Apple will have to pay a hefty sum for damages to Samsung’s Aussi business revs

  • Anonymous

    Apple’s actions are just PENTILE…..er….I mean, JUVINILE!

  • Anonymous

    Most companies respond by innovation. 
    Apple decides to try and eliminate the competition literally, by ending imports into countries. 

    I don’t see what the problem is, other than Apple being a bitch who deserves to be sued to death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Forte/542650247 Michael Forte

    Patent troll-AKA Apple

  • http://profiles.google.com/mpaa.hasta.love.me I Pirate Movies

    It’s sad really that Apple just can’t compete anymore.  They put out inferior products with last year’s hardware.  For as much as I dislike Apple, I wish they did a better job competing.  The best way to drive innovation is to have good competition.  I fear that as iOS and the iPhone slides further behind Android and Android devices, that development of Android will falter.

    • TheAndroid1

      Do you really think Apple can’t compete.  They still have the most sold smartphone.  Their 3gs, which is almost three years old is still outselling many new android phones.

      If this isn’t competition I don’t know what is.

      -As far as inferior products with last year’s hardware, they are releasing a phone in september/october that will have the same if not better hardware than android’s current offerings.
      -Android apps still cannot make use of dual core processors.
      -Plus people aren’t getting phones every six months.  One of the things that makes me hate buying an android phone is that it will be outdated in a couple of weeks and could lose support at any time.
      -Plus the iPhone is still smoother than ANY (except for the nexus s which ironically has “last years hardware”)

      I’ve had the droid, the X, and the thunderbolt and I know how buggy/unpolished they can feel.  The original droid cannot even run current apps and my contract isn’t even up yet.

      What you are trying to do is bash a product right before it’s successor comes out, you could make any product look bad that way.

      If you want to know the single biggest feature of IOS5, it’s the iCloud.  Don’t even try to say that Android has it.  You can upload songs and stream them with google’s offering.  With the iPhone, it will back up photos to your devices and computers, it will back up app data across your devices, it will let you upload and download music, etc.

      I don’t care if you prefer Android or IOS because I’m not the one using your phone.  But I do care when you start claiming a company isn’t innovative when they clearly are.  You bash a phone right before the next comes out and lie about Apple not being able to compete.

      I hated my Thunderbolt and vowed to never get another Android phone unless it was stock.  I either get a Nexus phone on Verizon or I’m back to iOS.

      • Chris Mulliner

        All I have to say to you is, GET THE HELL OFF OF THIS FORUM. -.-”

        The iPhail, is a waste of time/money. Yeah, It was an awesome phone, three years ago.
        It is way behind on technology. When the iPhail 5 launches in god know’s when, it MIGHT have a dual core processor in it. It WILL be a 4 in screen. Woopteh Freakin’ Do. Android’s are already past that. 

        If you’re running a Tbolt, learn to root my friend. If you think it isn’t “smooth” then you’re a retard. If you like how iPhail’s operate, then start back your DX, and run MIUI. Or can you not root that either?

        Don’t defend the i*hone on an Android forum. If you want to have an argument on this, I can go ALLLLLL DAYYYYY. :] 

        • AndroFan

          “All I have to say to you is, GET THE HELL OFF OF THIS FORUM. -.-”

          That’s the most narrowminded idiocy I’ve read today, so thanks for that. 

        • http://twitter.com/BrianBrick Brian Brick

          by all means, reply to messages like this, but don’t tell people to get off the forum and proceed to make yourself look like a simple narrowminded fanboy. we all love android and what it does for us but it doesnt mean people shouldnt express an opinion if it differs from yours. If in any way you claim to be a part of, or represent this wonderful community that kellen has created for us, you do us wrong with this lowly “argument”. Do better

        • TheAndroid1

          “All I have to say to you is, GET THE HELL OFF OF THIS FORUM.”
          -Let’s start with this.  Not everybody who reads this post has to be a die-hard android fanboy.  This is a forum where people can discuss things about android.  More on this later.

          The iPhail, is a waste of time/money.
          -The iPhone helps Google innovate just as android makes the iPhone innovate.  So no it is not a waste of time nor money.

          “Yeah, It was an awesome phone, three years ago.”
          -It comes down to user experience, some people prefer iOS and some like Android.  The iPhone is still the top smartphone (not debatable).

          “It is way behind on technology.”
          -The iPhone is the smoothest out of the box experience that it can get (except for nexus).  People shouldn’t have to learn to root and ROM.

          “When the iPhail 5 launches in god know’s when”
          -Just like your beloved Bionic

          ” it MIGHT have a dual core processor in it. It WILL be a 4 in screen. Woopteh Freakin’ Do. Android’s are already past that.”
          -Please tell me which android phone has a processor above dual-core.  It still doesn’t matter, it’s smooth on single core.  It will be a 3.7″ screen, but the resolution will still be higher than any android phone currently.  Plus the resolution will be consistent so all current apps will fit (not a big issue, but I have had a problem on android before.)

          “If you’re running a Tbolt, learn to root my friend.”
          -I did and ran Cyanogenmod.  Very smooth, almost as smooth as the nexus phones.  However the battery life was horrible and gps took forever to lock.

          “If you think it isn’t “smooth” then you’re a retard.”
          -Seriously, enough with the insults.  We are all entitled to an opinion.

          “If you like how iPhail’s operate, then start back your DX, and run MIUI. Or can you not root that either?”
          -Sold the DX a while back to get the Thunderbolt.  It was rooted and running a custom ROM, I don’t remember which one anymore.  And again another unneeded insult.

          Don’t defend the i*hone on an Android forum
          -I don’t even know how to respond to this.  I want Google to improve their devices and if we never comment on it’s flaws they won’t be fixed.  If Verizon got a Nexus, I would buy it over the iPhone any day.

          You are the type of person who criticizes Apple fanboys, you say they kiss Steve Jobs’s A** because they refuse to look at the iPhone’s flaws.  You are doing the exact same thing.  There are iPhone features that I want to see in Android, why is that such a crime?

          This is an Android forum, if there is something somebody doesn’t like about Android, they need to say it.  Believe it or not Google reads these comments to see what it’s users want.  If we all narrow our minds to the point at which we cannot criticize flaws, Google won’t give us the necessary fixes.  Why do you think Google is teaming up with developers to make sure we get updates, because the USERS complain.

          I don’t want to argue that the iPhone is better nor do I want to argue that Android is better as the different devices are different for different people.  Stop fishing for likes and start contributing the the forums.

      • Jaymond15

        The only reason the iphone still sells so well is because people only know the name not the actual product.

        • http://twitter.com/jbernard703 Jeff Bernard

          yeah that must be it….oh wait maybe it’s just marketing. 

      • Stephen

        “If you want to know the single biggest feature of IOS5, it’s the iCloud.  Don’t even try to say that Android has it.  You can upload songs and stream them with google’s offering.  With the iPhone, it will back up photos to your devices and computers, it will back up app data across your devices, it will let you upload and download music, etc.”

        Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but don’t try to misinform people….This can be done on any google device quite simply.  I’m sorry you were unable to figure this one out.

        • TheAndroid1

          I did mistype about the uploading and downloading music part.  However Google does not offer any service that automatically backs up every app and its data on your device.  Developers are able to implement this however Apple does it without developers needing to implement it (as we all know many won’t, leading to inconsistency).

          Believe me, I want this to come to Android.  I don’t want to have to root my phone and then download an app to back up app data.

          Imagine if you could switch ROMs any time and not have to worry about backing up and restoring everything.  It would do it automatically.  Imagine switching devices and everything is just there.

          The more people demand a feature, the faster it will come.

          • Marcusrussell547

            when i switched from the droid x to my thunderbolt and put my g mail account in the market started downloading my apps i already had.

          • TheAndroid1

            Right but the iCloud will also back up the App data, which you would normally (unless a developer makes special modifications to their app which I have never seen happen)need to root and then install a backup like titanium backup. The big problem is if you go from rooted to unrooted, you cannot restore the data on your unrooted phone.

            (By app data I mean things like gamesaves on angry birds)

        • http://twitter.com/jbernard703 Jeff Bernard

          If you think Google devices can emulate iCloud you have no idea what iCloud does. If you throw together a few DIFFERENT google services together you come close to what iCloud does but you still are not at iCloud level yet. 

      • StraightForward

        The point is that Apple is not responding with innovation, they are responding with lawsuits.  Yes a new Iphone is coming out.  Based on Apple’s legal activity, they are trying to bully competition with law suits at the moment.  It is Job’s decision to make one phone per year.  And right now, Android has the majority market share over iOS and is still growing.  As to why Apple is sue happy is beyond me.  Apple is quick to sue for patent infringement, but has infringed on numerous companies in the past.  Not to mention Job’s has been one of the greatest hypocrites in the technology world that I have seen.  No one has said that Apple is not innovative, all was said is that they cannot respond with innovations.  And for the moment, that is true.  Right now, Google is on a tear, and I mean a serious tear with Ice Cream Sandwich coming this winter and android accessories.  The issue with Apple is they are mainly fighting patent wars, not innovative wars.  iCloud is quite innovative.  And iOS is smooth.  Even when using an iPod touch, I’ve had force closes, just like I’ve had with Android.  It really depends on, at times, what you are doing on your phone at any given time that could cause a glitch.

      • Tarsis Brito

        apple will copy android with bigger screen, dual core, flash only thing
        that apple has over android it is the retina display and it just look
        good because the phone it is very small lol i want to see them using the
        retina display on a 4.3 display. the numbers says it all not our
        comments just look at the chart you fool. Android has different styles
        just look at moto, samsung and htc different types of phone not like
        iphone same look from 2007 idiot

      • Anonymous

        The 3GS is also $49.99 now.  If I was a “normal” and didn’t know much at all about smartphones, I would just buy that for my kid/myself too.

      • Marcusrussell547

        the 3gs is selling like that cause its so cheap and people are hurting for money. if you were hurting for money you would buy a i phone 3gs to. just to say u have a smart phone but. the 3gs is way behind the atrix, thunderbolt, evo 3d, droid x2, galaxy s II and many other more android phones out now. and the i phone 4 only has beter screen quality. but it sill has a 5mp camera and i phone 4 is the first one with a flash for the camera i had a flip phone in 2002 that had a flash on it. they are innovative there just lazy cuz they thought they was gonna be ontop for ever. 

      • Anonymous

        So, basically, the biggest feature of IOS5 is that it brings the functionality Dropbox adds for free to Android and many other platforms? Only difference is that Apple’s offering will be limited to their devices.

        • TheAndroid1

          I am so tired of posting this. NO, iCloud is different from a hard drive in the sky. The biggest part of iCloud is that it automatically backs up all of your app data. On android you need to root and use titanium backup to backup an app’s data. On the iDevices, it does it automatically with no need to root/hack. I ran in to this problem when I wanted to go from rooted to unrooted, there was no way to restore things like gamesaves because I needed a rooted app to do it.

          Plus when you are updating devices, you are now able to transfer app data without rooting. I want this feature to come to android but it won’t ever happen if Android users keep saying they don’t need it, that they already think they have it.

          • Anonymous

            My “appdata” is on my SD card, which is backed up to a cloud service (like dropbox).

          • TheAndroid1

            But again, first you have to set the apps to install to sd, and not all apps support that, plus you have to manually back up to dropbox. It’s not as seamless or as easy as having a service back it up for you.

  • http://twitter.com/mfg68 MFG

    I really hope the Justice Dept. does something about this. It was a blatant gang-up on Google.

    • Anonymous

      I for one don’t want to see Google get their pants sued off, but I try to look at it objectively. Is it really the Justice Departments job to make sure companies don’t get bullied. It seems like they are playing teacher at the playground. I am very ignorant on this subject so if someone has more insight feel free to share.

      • Anonymous

        Well it is the government that is issuing the patents so I see no problem with them trying to protect companies that may be hurt intentionally by unfair practices.

      • Anonymous

        Absolutely. They issued the patents and it should be their job to make sure those patents aren’t abused in this manner.

      • Anonymous

        Free market is not without its issues

  • Anonymous

    Too true, it is getting out of hand. I’m tired of apple suing everyone

  • Anonymous

    Too true, it is getting out of hand. I’m tired of apple suing everyone

    • Peter Bartholomul

      Apple just can’t handle real competition. they were so used to being the best in 2007 and couldn’t deal with being the second best in late 2008. and then when they became last years hardware and not even in the top 50 they couldn’t deal with that so they sue everyone to put them at the top again. but while apple sues everyone and releases 1 phone per year Android releases 20-40 phones and makes enough money to pay the lawsuit.

  • aburr

    SLOOWWWW NEWS DAYS…. quick someone take a blurry pick of any phone and say its the bionic

    • Anonymous

      This makes me wonder about sites dedicated to WebOS or BlackberryOS: do they always have slow news days? I’m just glad Android is doing so well. We (usually) have lots of news to follow. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Forte/542650247 Michael Forte

    I’m glad to see this. Patent laws as a whole should be reformed.
    On another note: Why would Sony help buy those patents if they make Android phones?

    • Jjjjj

      Perhaps to prevent themselves from being the next Android supporting company to join the likes of HTC, and Samsung to be sued by Apple.  And perhaps to just cover themselves regarding future projects they are working on, or run with some of the ideas and expand their portfolio.

    • Anonymous

      To get some backing to protect themselves from companies like Apple, Microsoft and RIM.

    • Smillz2003

      Ericsson already has ~25% of LTE patents… and their phones are a joint venture with Sony so… they want to be a part of the majority of LTE… maybe?

  • Anonymous

    Top

  • Droidl

    +1 justice department