Google Inc has agreed to settle litigation with patent consortium Rockstar, though terms of the deal were not disclosed in a court filing made public this week.
Rockstar, which counts Apple Inc as an investor, outbid Google and paid US$4.5 billion in 2011 for thousands of former Nortel Network Corp patents as the networking products supplier went bankrupt.
In October last year, Rockstar sued Google and several handset manufacturers whose phones operate on Google’s Android operating system. Rockstar accused Google of infringing seven Nortel patents, all related to search engine technology.
Google and Rockstar have agreed to settle “all matters in controversy between the parties,” according to a filing in a Texas federal court on Monday.
However, the document does not say whether Rockstar has also settled with handset makers, including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
A Google spokesman declined to comment on Thursday, and Rockstar representatives could not be reached. Samsung and Apple spokespeople were also not immediately available.
Google and Rockstar have reached a term sheet, which will be “reduced to a definitive agreement” over the next few weeks, the court filing said.
On that same day, Rockstar sued several handset makers over a different batch of patents.
Google then asked a California judge to rule that devices using the Android platform had not infringed the patents cited by Rockstar against the handset makers.
Google succeeded in halting the Texas proceedings against the handset makers while its California case plays out.
Earlier this month Cisco said it had signed a term sheet with Rockstar and would take a US$188 million charge related to that agreement.
In other developments, Google is experimenting with ways for Web sites to generate income without showing ads.
The Web-search provider —the world’s largest online advertiser — is testing a new service called Contributor that lets US Web surfers pay monthly subscriptions so they do not have to see ads, Google said on its Web site on Thursday.
Initial partners, which share revenue with Google, include technology news service Mashable Inc and satire Web site Onion Inc.
Google is sending out invitations for the feature, which will charge consumers US$1 to US$3 a month.
“Today’s Internet is mostly funded by advertising,” Google said. “But what if there were a way to directly support the people who create the sites you visit each day?”
Google is expanding beyond digital ads sprinkled throughout its Web properties and other Web sites as it looks to keep pace with the changing tastes of users and publishers. Earlier this month, the company’s YouTube video service announced a new subscription-based feature that would let users get music without having to see ads.
Andrea Faville, a spokeswoman for Mountain View, California-based Google, said 10 sites are testing the service.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and