Despite it being the holiday season, there is little jolliness in Google's legal department. Google has just filed a lawsuit against Rockstar. No, not the game maker of GTA fame. This legal attack is aimed at the Rockstar patent holding company owned jointly by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and Ericsson. Rockstar has been going after Google and various Android OEMs for patent infringement and Mountain View has apparently had enough.


Rockstar's patents come mostly from the purchase of the Nortel portfolio a few years ago, but Rockstar itself is merely a litigator of patents – it doesn't make anything. In the modern parlance, many would call it a "Patent Troll." Google doesn't use that term in the lawsuit, but it gets close when it alleges Rockstar's backers are engaging in a campaign against Android only to interfere with Google's OEM business relationships. Mountain View's lawyers go on to point out Rockstar's infringement claims only target Android devices made by companies like Samsung and HTC, even when the companies' non-Android products could just as easily have been included.

Google is seeking to protect not just OEMs from legal attacks, but its own flagship products as well. The suit specifically asks the court to rule on whether or not the Nexus devices infringe any of the patents in question. It's a great big mess that's likely to drag on for years before anything is resolved.

[The Verge]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Daniel Pogue

    Oh shit!

  • Paul

    When you're on top you'd expect there will be sore losers, hiding behind their lawyers. Do they think winning this will suddenly send everyone buying Windows phones and Apple phones, both closed systems? Man I really hope Google buries Rockstar and their lawyers.

    • williamsteven

      iOS is closed but windows isn't I think bud,well, for smartphones and tablets I will keep using Android no matter cos they rock and in PC area I will just use WIndows 8.0 and it is FTW! :)

      • Luís Fernando

        Windows is not a closed source OS? What are you talking about? (No sarcasm, as a non native english speaker I might have misinterpreted your comment)

        • williamsteven

          Why don't you google yourself? :)

          • Luís Fernando

            I've googled before commenting and found nothing, thats why I asking you if I've misunderstood you comment, bro! I don't think windows is open source.

      • didibus

        Hum, Windows is closed source. Unless you meant closed as in they don't let you install apps from other sources then the official channel aka store then Windows 8 is only partly closed, since metro apps are closed, but not legacy desktop apps.

  • Firmino

    I hope Google kick some ass!

    • gargamel

      why? they are just as evil as the others. Just look what they have been doing to Android...

      • 12 34

        What have they been doing to Android. Still free and open source, ask Amazon.

        • gargamel

          Don't pretend you don't know... When was the stock, open source browser last updated? Just an example... Or a better question-try to use android without gapps, which are closed source. You'll discover it's close to useless.

          • 12 34

            Android without Google apps is a fully functional ecosystem. The notion that Google owes the world a free OS is ridiculous. Where are the Microsoft, apple and BlackBerry Open source projects?

            Google gives us free apps and services as A platform for serving targeted ads. They don't sell your personal info because that's their advantage. Thats how they make money. I trust them not to sell my data for exactly that reason.

          • drcmda

            They updated all the apps you fool, including the platform browser which us now chromium. Launcher, calendar, phone, downloads, browser, etc. Everything was updated in the aosp.

          • drcmda

            this is kitkats open source webview, based on their new blink engine and v8 - which is what developers really want. your chrome is not much more than an URL bar attached to that view:

            if you are a decent person go back to ron amadeos trollcave and tell him he should be ashamed of himself misguiding you.

          • http://daveysmind.tumblr.com David M.D.

            Devs and companies (read: Amazon) have been very successful with using Android without gApps. So...useless? Nah, not at all.

        • Joel S Wilson

          Very true - they went closed sourced under two years ago - In short they where sued for being open on the phones - If they where really open any one could be their own phone company - so they had to close it do to their phone company sales & that is Y they are no longer open from what my sources say

    • UniBroW

    You continue to poke the sleeping dragon, soon the dragon will awaken and roast your ass

    • CerealFTW

      I agree, the new Hobbit movie was amazing

      • LANCE

        you Sir!!!...get a Christmas Cookie for a great response

      • Brendan Dillon

        Amazing? Amazingly bad. Peter Jackson has out-George-Lucased George Lucas. The Hobbit movies are garbage, especially the Desolation of Smaug.

        • marpet


          • Brendan Dillon

            Your defense of the film was about as well crafted as the film itself.

          • marpet

            Your assault on the film was not better (quote: "The Hobbit movies are garbage").

            I simply disagree with your rude opinion and don't think I need to explain or apologise.

          • Brendan Dillon

            They are garbage. You've got a single book that's shorter than any of the LotR books stretched into 3 films almost three hours long (and somehow PJ still found more fluff for an Extended Edition). I could probably read the book in less time than it will take to watch the entire trilogy.

            The CGI was terrible. PJ completely ignored the quality of effects he got using non-CGI in LotR and decided to go the Lucas route and make everything digital (and did it poorly).

            Speaking of special effects, he didn't even get the little ones right. Dwalin's skull cap to make him look bald looks AWFUL.

            He made a dwarf without a beard. Even dwarf women have beards!

            Then he put that dwarf in a love triangle with an elf.

            Bilbo Baggins, you know The Hobbit, the title character, spent most of the film as a background character. In his own film!

            Benedict Cumberbatch was completely wasted. His voice was so distorted, it could have been one of Peter Jackson's kids voicing Smaug and nobody would have known.

            Elves play a minimal role in The Hobbit. But because Peter Jackson has a hard-on for elves, suddenly there are elves everywhere in the movie, adding nothing of value to the story.

            Legolas comes face-to-face with the big bad orc in Laketown (neither of whom should have ever been there) and what does the character who shoots everyone with his bow even from 6" away do when faced with the villain from 20' away? He puts away his bow and draws his sword. Of course! AWFUL...

            To top it all off, Jackson adds all this fluff, then can't bother to take the time to tell things like the arrival at Beorn's correctly, he rushed right through the whole thing and got it wrong. The arrival made no sense with what Gandalf was saying about Beorn (who looked awful).

            If Tolkien were alive to see the abomination that is the Hobbit films, Jackson would need a restraining order to protect him, although any jury on earth would let Tolkien off if he killed Jackson, that would certainly be justifiable homicide on his part.

            Peter Jackson made one of the best epic film series in a generation. Then he completely ruined it with crapulent production and awful, unnecessary storylines that he made up to create unneeded fluff. The two Hobbit films so far have been more Michael Bay than Peter Jackson, and Michael Bay at least would have made sure the effects looked better.

          • marpet

            Wow! Thank you for the time you took to write this lot.

            Believe me, I get your point. But I still disagree.

            I've watched both Hobbit films with pleasure and I'm looking forward to the last part. I've read the book over 25 years ago, so maybe my aged memory fails me but for me the plot problems you describe are of a religious nature. And it's very hard to discuss with that.

            I'm really surprised you didn't mention that Legolas looked much older in this one :-P

            I didn't notice any serious problems with CGI or the props. I wasn't bored for a single second or shocked by stupidity of the plot (which happens a lot in most of contemporary cinema!). The world was very consistent with the LOTR films.

            Crush of a young dwarf for an Elvish woman didn't outrage me. I'd probably feel the same, she was extremely attractive ;-)

            For me it was a well made pure entertainment cinema. Better than most I've seen during the recent few years. And that's all I expected from it.

            And I think your comparison with Michael Bay is unfair. His films are the ones that shock me most with their stupidity (the ones I've seen at least, because now I keep proper distance to his works).

          • Brendan Dillon

            Legolas looking older didn't bother me. Well, it did, but realistically, you can't do much about that. In the first film they digitally youthened Frodo and it looked silly and that was just for one quick shot, doing it for longer would have been horrific.

            Stuff has to change in adaptation for film, I didn't complain about the changes to LotR because for the most part, they made sense (aside from having elves show up at Helm's Deep, which was just more of PJ's elf fetish). With The Hobbit, most didn't. We didn't need the extra goblin storyline. I didn't mind the addition of Tauriel because otherwise there isn't a woman in the entire story, but they even told the actress there wouldn't be some stupid love triangle and changed it after primary shooting was done.
            "I agreed to the job under one condition. One condition, and they agreed to the condition, and that condition was in place for two years. The condition was I will not be involved in a love triangle. Right? Because any of you who are fans of Lost, I’ve had it up to here with love triangles. And sure enough, I come back for reshoots in 2012 and they go, “We’ve made a few adjustments to the love story.”
            A few, Ha!

            Another just absolutely mind-numbing moment was the moment with the eye of Suaron, when you're looking at the eye and it zooms in and you see the eye again inside the eye, then he repeats that 4-5 more times. So. Bad.

            I think the Bay comparison is dead on. Lots of action (The Hobbit was not a story with a lot of action, it was a story with a lot of TALKING). Cliche dialogue (Tolkien's dialogue was clever, refined and intelligent, that was all gone). So-so acting at best (mostly because Jackson gave the characters no time to act because the action was so non-stop). And stupid prepubescent humor (Dwarves climbing out of the toilet? REALLY?)

            This will not be the last production of The Hobbit. That's a guarantee. 100 years from now people will look back on all the productions of The Hobbit as we now can look back on productions of Dracula or Frankenstein and this one will undoubtedly be considered the worst.

          • Matthew Bohr

            well... that thread escalated quickly

  • lackGX

    F Microsoft and Apple

  • Juan De La Rosa

    Google ain't got time fo dat

  • Tuấn Ankh

    Oh look. It's Sony! That bottomhole...

  • varagor

    Why are Sony attacking the company that's making the OS for their phones and tablets?

    • CheN

      I remember reading somewhere that Sony joined Rockstar before their android success. they cant just leave or drop out of the "conglomerate" because they invested a large sum for the Nortel patents...

    • Darkbotic

      They're just part of the consortium, but they can't do much to avoid the attack...

      • gmaninvan

        Probably as a way to get their own devices exempt haha

  • Brad

    After so long of doing nothing... they're trying to cut the head off of the serpent

  • Matthew Moscotto

    I guess Google is going with business bias here and prefer Rockstar just to go at everybody if they are even going to carry on with this lawsuit. Not sure how this will pan out but some of these patents are just so miniscule and overly sensitive.

    • American Patriot

      The very essence of a patent troll...You nailed it on the head!

  • BenderUK

    The thing is, Rockstar consists of companies that PROMISED not to sue others based on Nortel's patents. So they created consortium called Rockstar that they think is not bound by that promise, scumbags...

  • gmaninvan

    Congrats Microsoft and Apple. You have successfully ensured that I will never ever spend a dime on your products. These anticompetitive tactics are disgraceful and show that you no longer believe yourselves competent enough to out innovate google.

    PS. I just got my mother in law a chromebook and she loves it. I also won't be getting the endless tech support calls I am used to due to its simplicity and her basic computing needs.

    • American Patriot

      I have a Chrome Book also. NEVER buying anything Microshaft, and there is no way in hell, we are buying ANYTHING Crapple, either.
      In fact, Apple is FORBIDDEN in our home!
      Junk, just plain JUNK! Overpriced does NOT mean better!

      • Danny Davis

        And yet, they still outsell anything on the market. Junk? I think android has more low end junk than anything Apple could offer. LOL forbidden.

        • fxckyou

          Its stupid people like you that buy all that expensive crapple shit. they figure "why lower the price even if we raise it we can still get all this dumbasses to buy our shit we call innovation"

          • Danny Davis

            1. I just bought my wife a Nexus 7 2013 2. I don't support Apple nor care to buy their products. What I do realize is truth and fact that Apple as over priced they are make good products and will outsell any of your favorite Android product 3. I have owned Android products since N1 so pull the tampon out ya ass. Its dunbasses like you that make fandroid look like complete dickheads. Dickhead.

          • Danilo Viana

            Apple do make good products - same as other companies. Some products are better others are worse. The reason people buy iPhones is not because they're good products, it's because Apple has succeeded fooling people to think more expensive = better. Look at Samsung, their Galaxy S line are not the best phones out there (fault rate to high for my tastes), but they sure are expensive and people buy them because they're the most "so expensive it must be good" phones that are not from Apple.

          • didibus

            But Apple's products are good products of high quality. I think the price is justified. If you want a same quality android device at a cheaper price then Apples you'll need to do some research, because not all cheaper android can live up to apple's quality. Some people just don't know how or don't have time for that research.

          • gmaninvan

            They are good products but the price is by no means justified. Apple currently enjoys 45-55% margins on every iPhone sold. The most expensive iPhone is $1000 ffs. No phone should ever cost that much. Especially with a BOM totalling around $300.

          • didibus

            A price is never justified past a certain amount. I mean, as long as a person can have a reasonable shelter and food for himself and his children, everything else becomes luxury and unjust pricing. This would be especially true for selling goods and services that are indispensable to others.

            Apple is being unjust to some of the employees making their products for them, because they do employ underpaid workers that actually can't afford those things. That problem is with their redistribution of the profit.

            But on a consumer front, we set demand and value. Buying phones is a negotiation, sell them for too much, and people won't buy them. Build them with low value, and people won't pay high value for it. It also involves alternative, Apple used to be the only player, so it had a stronger card to negotiate with, now that more companies are making alternatives at cheaper prices, they should feel more pressure, but they don't why?

            I think it's because other products have not made a compelling case for themselves yet. Like I said, some devices, like the Nexus line especially, are of high quality and refinement, at least to iphone levels, and sell for way less, but most people won't be able to hear about it or know for sure if it's that good.

            So I didn't want to say that the price was a good bargain, I meant to say that in the business world, there price is justified, proved by the amount of people that is willing to pay that same price for the device. Apple prices their phones based on that. I can not blame Apple for doing so, I can blame them for underpaying staff though. I blame consumers and competitors for the high price of iPhones. And I blame more so competitors, because the consumers don't have time to learn about smartphones making process, cost to manufacture, quality, etc. The competitors should teach the consumers that their products are just as good or better.

          • gmaninvan

            What you are referring to are free market principles. I never said lets get out our pitchforks as it is so unjust that Apple be selling at these margins. What I said was that consumers should be aware of how hosed they are getting when they open their wallets.

            Does Apple have to disclose this info? No. But I don't see anything wrong with people like myself making those margins public to the world. What they are doing is maintaining the cost of technology which, from a progression standpoint, is anticonsumer.

            A good example of this is the first microwaves. They cost $1500. Now you can buy one for $20. This industry is unique in that, by buying devices through carriers, they have managed to keep cost of ownership high. Smartphones have been out for several years now and the average cost should be lower, not $1000. Companies like Google are trying to lower the consumer cost of handsets which is disruptive to the carrier gouging. I personally support this as I hope one day they will be inexpensive enough that I can buy a phone and not even think about the plan, then choose the carrier of my choice.

          • didibus

            I understand. You are free to think the price is outrageous, and to tell others that they are making a lot of profit on the sales and that people should demand lower prices. What I meant is, until everyone does demand lower prices, and don't give out and buy the phones that are selling for more, then Apple has no good business reasons to lower their prices. Google selling devices for less is competition at work, and if they keep doing so, and it starts hurting Apple's sales, because consumers choose the lower priced phones, then they will have a good business reason to follow suit.

            When it starts being anti-consumerism is when the service or good is a necessity. At this point, you could say that there should be a moral justification to be selling for close to cost price. Therefore, in negotiating the exchange, the seller should have the moral to be diligent, and serve society's basic needs as humbly as he can. Obviously, that's philosophical, and up for debate.

        • Twelk

          Apple outsell everything else in middle class america, but not in the real world.

          • Danny Davis

            True. Nokia has outsold Apple and numerous countries. Very aware of this. But the only numbers at the end of the day is total global. And with that Samsung is the only one matching their numbers.

          • Gustavo Parrado

            You talk android as a whole, but when comparing numbers (80% android global) you stick to only one company. THAT, boys, is called hypocrisy.

          • Danny Davis

            You are talking about an OS. I am talking about ONE phone. Android dominates the mobile market, yet no OEM can outsell Apple except GS models. Stop huffing. That boys, is called idiotic

          • gmaninvan

            The argument was never about sales figures, it was about quality. Just because a device sells more does not make it better.

            I agree that the iPhone is well built, but so are the high end android phones.

        • gmaninvan

          I get what you are trying to say but it is kind of a dumb way to say it. Yes, Android has more low end junk than iOS. Why? Because over 6000 phones run Android. iOS you ask? 6. Apple has never competed on the low end so you can't even use those devices in your comparison. It is the equivalent of comparing a mercedes to a civic.

          Put todays android flagships against the iPhone however and you have a very very different story. Phones like the HTC one, Galaxy S4, LG G2, Moto X, Oppo N1, and Sony Z1 offer compelling features and build quality that leave the iPhone wanting in many key areas. In addition, android is a far more capable operating system as a whole. Examples of this hardware differentiation are things such as front facing speakers, air gestures, all of them have a higher ppi than the iPhone, waterproofing, or a processor that allows for low power always listening mode.

          With that said, whoever said the iPhone is junk is sorely mistaken. The iPhone is a very high quality, well built device. It is not better than the top end android phones though.

          • Danny Davis

            And yet not even one of those high end phone alone can outsell the iPhone except GS and we all know why that is. You take the low end out of the equation its even worse. Android built its success from the low end market. Of course there are phones of better build. But until one can push out/sale 9 million in 2 days, nothing else. But are on the same page. I don't care for Apple nor use their products. But to call them junk is complete ignorance.

          • gmaninvan

            You are forgetting one major thing about this. The iPhone may sell a ton but their sales are not increasing year over year any more. It is only a matter of time. I can think of dozens of people I know who have switched from iPhone to android.For example, iPad sales were actually flat year over year this year.

            You are also forgetting that I was never the one calling it junk. That basically tells me flat out that you didn't read my entire post which, in turn, kind of makes responding to you kind of pointless for the sake of argument.

          • Danny Davis

            I read exactly what you said. To each their own. I don't know where you're getting that I implied you said the iPhone was junk so I don't know who reading what. But at this point its a dead horse.

        • Stalemate

          That must be why their worldwide OS market shares (for both phones and tablets) are decreasing every year since 2011 - because they're outselling the competition.

          • Danny Davis

            This comment is so redundant. I'll respond when you understand the difference in market share to one phone product sold. Every year their market dwindles yet every year their products outsells any one OEM. Sigh. This is pointless and a dead horse now. And guess what, at the small percentage of the mobile market they hold, guess who will be the top selling smart phone, again.

          • Stalemate

            Ah yes. The old Apple rhetoric where they have to single out one specific device outselling any one other specific device (which is not always the case by the way). That works.

            Since that is possibly the only metric where "Apple wins", you would do well to argue that single phone model sales are in Apple's favour, but you did not. Even in your counter argument.

            That's how insidious the Apple marketing hype machine is: we are given to think they're on top. In fact they have not been for a while now and in fact, we could argue they have *never* been when considering the global markets instead of focusing only on the US.

            You implied that Apple's products were outselling any competitor's products and this is untrue. In Q3 2013, the market was clearly in favour of Samsung's products.

            For example: Apple's line of smartphones saw an increase of about 8 million units sold between 2012 and 2013 (resulting in a market share of 12% - even with the 5S / 5C's presence). In Samsung's case, their sales increased by about 25 million units for the same time period (32% market share).

            The more you know...

          • Danny Davis

            Yeah the more you know cause obvious you havr missed that havr explained this time and time again that I said Samsung was the only one to outsell Apple. And even then they are not constantly outselling what's a quarter here and there compared to years?

            1. I never said Apple was on top. I said they still have the top selling phone.

            2. I have already stated numerous time that Samsung GS series has outsold Apple. So you ponting that out is pointless

            3. If you flood the market the way Samsung has been, yeah you would expect to gain more market. Duh. Your market shate speaks Samsung entire mobile devicing, not just the GS series. Come on dude.


            The more you know.

          • gmaninvan

            I think that the important metric you are forgetting is related directly to your marketshare argument. While Apple is increasing iPhone sales, year over year, they are not increasing their market share. It is actually dropping by a few percentage points.

            What this indicates is that, while apple increases shipments, their target market is growing at a rate faster than they are, with their competitors taking an increasingly large piece of the pie.

            Based on how things are trending, it is also looking like Samsung's dominance in android may be reducing. Not only was the S5 considered underwhelming to many, both Sony and LG increased their mobile sales dramatically this year and their products both look more compelling than what Samsung has on offer.

            The mobile world is one that always balances out. Lets not forget that it was less than ten years ago that Motorola was dominating with the original Razr line. The scariest part for Apple is that 70% of their revenue comes from the iPhone. If it ever reaches a point where consumers find it has lost its cool factor, which seems to be starting now, the company will take a massive hit. This is why their stock has not shown growth. The writing on the wall is there for Apple. They will always be a player, but not the dominant force they are today.

      • Paul

        I've been an Mac user for 14 years now. The machines were great, the OS was great.. till the last version of Snow Leopard (10.6.8)
        From then on, the company went downhill very, very fast. The quality of the hardware declined (fast dying hd's, graphic chip faults, etc.) And then a even more dumbed down OS with each version, more "dumb" consumer gimmicks, less pro features.

        Btw, i never owned a iPhone, went straight to Android because of it's openness. And well, since new machines won't even allow installation of the last "pro" OS, there's no new Macs coming into my home either.

        You gotta give them credit where credit is due, but that's for the past. Now, and i agree with most of you, Apple is a pile of dung.

      • Epic Tea

        Apple Computers are good though I have to have them to be able to do what I do I hate windows and google doesn't offer a desktop OS that runs final cut pro, adobe suit, Logic Pro ect now their tablets and phones are meh, but ther computers they have done a good job especially for those in the Creative Relm.

        • gmaninvan

          I agree with this. Unfortunately we are not yet at a point where open source, full linux distros, or chromeOS are adequate replacements for all use cases of Windows or OSX.

    • Danny Davis

      As long as you support Android you support MS revenues...

      • Rene Andersen

        MS's FAT patent (their mobile cash cow - 2 Billion $ a year on Android ) was invalidated by a German court and may soon be invalidated completely.

        ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/12/06/german-patent-ruling-threatens-microsofts-windows-phone-earnings-from-android/)

        So of course they are trying to find another golden egg.
        But since microsoft can't compete on innovation or features they try to compete in the court room instead. I have no respect for that.

        • Danny Davis

          And this means what? Its not the first time its been rejected and got reinstated. I mean if we're going to post articles


          So what does that mean? I mean we can go back and forth all day. I love Android, but its no secret they are using other people innovation to make Android successful. Now they trying to lock down their apps. Shutting down 3rd party access. Google is slowing turning into the very thing they fought against. It is what it is. Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and any other company has the right to protect their product. You just don't like it cause its not in Google's favor, until it is.


          But whatever. To many cheerleaders.

          • hairyback

            nonsense. John Carmack, the father of 3d shooters refused to patent any of his technology because he said everything he has learned has somehow built on the foundation of others, so it is with Android, apple, MS etc etc. I don't know who you cheer for, but they wouldn't be where they are if they didn't build on/licence/copy thousands of other people's discoveries. That is why software patents are ridiculous.

          • Danny Davis

            I don't cheer for anyone. I think these lawsuits are stupid. But I understand why they exist. To think otherwise would be ignorant

          • gmaninvan

            I agree. Software patents have literally made it impossible for any small company or independent inventor to produce a product without blowing all of their profits on licensing fees.

            Copyrighting code is valid to prevent someone from using the same implementation but the actual result is something that should not be patentable. It is the equivalent of building a flamethrower and patenting the resulting flames.

          • godutch

            Two people can have the same idea both arriving at that idea by themselves but the one that manages to file a patent first can use that patent to stop the other person from using the idea that person thought of himself.

            That's why patents are just wrong because it forbids people from using their own invention just because some else thought of it too and patented it.

          • Danny Davis

            First come first serve...

          • Calvin Uijlen

            That doesn't mean patents are good.
            And what you said about Android locking down their apps, I don't agree.
            The Android kernel and the Android operating system are open source. The Google Apps are not. Seems logical to me.
            Google moves some apps to the Play Store now, because they can update it indepentely of the OS.
            And if you don't like apps like Hangouts (for SMS), you can always download another SMS app from the Play Store from a third party developer and use that as default.
            Android locked down? Are you kidding me?

          • Danny Davis

            You obviously don't know how to read. I never said anything about locking down Android. I said locking down their apps. If you didn't read the link don't waste my time. Google is essentially trying to protect themselves, you know, just like any company would do.

          • 12 34

            Their apps have always been closed source.

          • Danny Davis

            Their apps has been part of the AOSP that they have slowly been moving away from. Once again read the article that goes into full details

          • 12 34

            I did. Google Chrome, Gmail, Voice, Maps have never been a part of AOSP. The articles that you link to (specifically ARS) suggest that Google has abandoned development of open source elements of AOSP when they have a proprietary Google counterpart. AOSP is fully functional without Google updating the stock Browser, email client or Messaging apps. I suggest you read the article again.

          • Danny Davis

            Exactly they developed and then abandoned to close their apps. Pretty straight forward. They no longer care to be as AOSP now a days as they once were very open. And the minute you fall away from OHA they ban you. I mean really. Like I say I still love and partially use Android, but they are not the squeaky clean company people want ti believe and it goes back to my original statement. People can hate and disagree about patents all day, but companies do what they need to to protect themselves. Alot of lawsuit are frivolous BS but some very well deserve to be protected, no matter who the company is. In the end consumers lose.

          • 12 34

            AOSP was recently updated to version 4.4.2. KitKat is fully functional despite no significant updates to messaging, browser and a few other core applications. It is still used by OHA members as well as many non OHA companies that ship the OS without Google apps ( Baidu, Amazon, Yandex).

            It's not about squeaky clean, it's about a company doing something progressive, that's benefiting the public as well as advancing the industry, only to be attacked for being too successful. So let Me get this right. Google is responsible for maintaining Android and must give away it's closed source apps to anyone who wants it?

            I am by no means a Google fanboy. It just irks me that people tend to be so myopic. I won't buy Apple, too limiting, too few options. I was burned by Microsoft, rewritten from scratch an no backwards compatibility. BlackBerry did the same and is dying. Why buy in only to be left high and dry (that's you Palm/ Web OS). If Google shut it's doors tomorrow, Android lives on.

            Ubuntu phone with Android runtime is what I'm waiting for.

          • blootz

            well said...

          • Danilo Viana

            You do know that if they're open source then ANYONE can just grab them and update them, or make new apps using the source right?
            Look at Opera, it uses Chromium, which is the open source project behind Chrome.
            When you open the source of a project, the objective is that if it is good then it will never really die. Someone can just grab the code and continue to update it.

          • gmaninvan

            Of course they do. This is inevitable. Google has to assert some degree of control over the platform they spend millions developing. This was a contingency plan. If you want to blame someone blame Samsung. If they weren't so actively using their position in the ecosystem to actively try and fork android from Google (S Voice, S Note, Samsung Apps, Samsung Media Hub, etc.) , google wouldn't be using as many of their closed apps.

            The reality is they have to do this or their platform will run away from them. the reason this wasn't an issue in the early days and google developed more on the AOSP apps is because their was no clear market leader in the android ecosystem.

            It is actually an incredibly clever way of maintaining a little control while leaving the OS itself completely open.

          • Danny Davis

            I can respect that.

          • cooldoods

            It's been declared invalid in Germany which means the decision can be used in other cases within the 28-state European Union. The nice thing about court decisions is that developed countries tend to mirror each other over time so the USA will probably follow suit.

          • gmaninvan

            Precedent is indeed the basis of law. In this case it is a beautiful thing.

          • telco

            not really mate... google is still fighting the battle w/ the same cause.. they are still opensource. regarding using other people's innovation.. can you provide an example ?

          • gmaninvan

            Have you actually looked at the patents MS is using to do this? It is ridiculous. Android is not using others innovations. Quite the contrary. The biggest patent that MS is asserting is a tie in to a legacy file system that android devices have to support. It is being invalidated in german courts because it is an essential standard.

            How do you figure that Google is turning into these companies? Android is still completely open source (yes you will mention the google apps but the OS works fine without them and most have dozens if not hundreds of alternatives), Chromium is open source, and they have been the most vocal company against both government intrusion and patent reform. As far as big tech goes, Google is far and above the biggest consumer advocate. On top of this, they sell high end devices in their nexus line at mid range prices in order to push ecosystem but also to be disruptive to the excessive margins that apple enjoys on their products.

            It may be hard to accept, and none of these companies are fully innocent, but Google is doing right by the consumer in comparison to their brethren.

      • gmaninvan

        Then buy Moto, they still haven't settled with MS

    • KG

      ^^^ THIS, the scroogled ads (fear mongering) and this lawsuit pretty much guarantees no apple or ms products in my household. Will be actively looking to move away from my win7 desktop to chromebook

  • Donald Zuchowski

    all phone should not be allowed to be sold until each and every phone is ruled on. and all current phones should be turned off until the ruling.

    • melhiore

      hehe, another brainwashed moron...

  • American Patriot

    Rockstar is a troll, they have no vested interest in anything, I consider them a warehouse of patents they (Rockstar) had no hand in building. The only reason they are alive, is they have the ability to channel big money for suing little businesses out of business.
    How about forcing these trolls to support the reason they are suing, by showing the court how the designs they are suing about, function, from the ground level to the finished product.
    None can, they do not know how to design, they only understand the flow of money.
    Maybe if the patent trolls had to explain in detail, HOW their 'product' worked before the suit can proceed, maybe they can cure the litany of useless and baseless suits they are pushing.
    Start making the trolls defend their patents as if they actually created them, not simply bought them at a fire sale!

    • Mawhayden

      Totally agree, all,,,, patent trolls should be banned....from all sides

    • Cuvis

      Rockstar is worse than an ordinary patent troll. Patent trolls are usually just after a quick buck; if you pay them enough, they'll leave you alone. Rockstar, however, represents a collusionary attempt to drive a player out of a market. It's precisely the sort of thing anti-trust laws are designed to prevent.

  • Mawhayden

    Come on guys, blame can be made on all sides, I also see google attack Dog doing the same thing, maybe the discussion should be made to all, don't live in glass houses. If you do remember google/Motorola gots slammed by the EU and US gouvements for abusing FOSS patents too. If google so innocent why did they get charged for what Rock Star is trying to do. The issue is less black and white and more shades of grey. Let's get rid of the apple and android Fan boys and get this resolved .....for good.

    • http://steamcommunity.com/id/metallinatus Metallinatus

      Google 'abused' of its FOSS patents just to backfire against the patent trolls at Redmond....
      Google must protect itself, even if that means fighting fire with fire with their bullies!

      • squiddy20

        While I want Google to "win" in all this BS, you apparently haven't heard the term "2 wrongs don't make a right"...

        • Cuvis

          And apparently you haven't heard "Turnabout is fair play".

          • squiddy20

            Touche good sir (or ma'am), touche.

  • Mawhayden

    Also remember, Sony an Android OEM partner is also part of the "Rockstar"consortium. It's complicated....there is more to the storey than you think. Do more research and then comment .

    • godutch

      Google are actually in a pretty comfortable position with Sony in the consortium. For Google all that matters is android. If they loose Sony will have an advantage over other oems if they win the status quo will remain

  • Mawhayden

    As I said it's complicated, you do also note that Google makes a ton of money from Ad sense via google search and ads via IOS Apple, it's complicated just like apple is Samsung biggest customer, so is Apple one of the biggest or single biggest customer for Google. This is not as clear cut as you guys are making it out to be. All I am saying that ALL trolls should be banned or at min severely curtailed....

  • SubX

    Good on Google! Tired of all the stupid squabbles of what some call a patient which is infact a method. It's childish crap.Apple need to grow up! So do Nokia. Trying to regain market share through suing is ridiculous and will only hurt their reputation.
    Hopefully, this will help Apple realise they are crap! Their products are crap. The company is crap!
    Go Google!

  • Timothy Anderson

    Companies like Rockstar are anti competitive and should be illegal. This type of collusion should not be tolerated. It really should be an FTC issue. Who else would protect the citizens from unfair trading practices?

  • Ricardo A. Fragoso

    Apple strikes back... Why am I not surprised? :D

  • stevo

    one thing i hate about google is its very ad based

    • Danny Davis

      I been very turned off by that. Gives it a lackluster feeling

      • Calvin Uijlen

        You can disable personalised ads in Android, Gmail and Google Web Search.
        You can buy apps in Google Play to remove the ads :)

        • Danny Davis

          So, you're willing to buy an apps that removes revenue from Google? Sure seems like a lot to do that's not required with Apple, WP, or blackberry.

          • Captain Spaulding

            If you don't like Google or Android, why are you on Android Police? It seems like you would be happier on BGR or 9to5Mac.

          • Danny Davis

            I see your name is not Captain Obvious. Cause obviously I'm still on a site for an OS I support cause you know I just bought my wife the Nexus 7 for Christmas. Also because this is the internet. Who said anything about not liking something cause I dont like the new changes?SMH

          • Captain Spaulding

            Google has been in advertising for a long time now, that is where their revenue comes from, not from Android. In order to keep Android open and free to OEMs, they have to run ads. Also, if rooted, it's as simple as downloading an ad block app such as Ad Block Plus, problem solved.

          • Danny Davis

            Yes that's obvious as I have been knowing about ads since the Nexus. That doesn't make it less annoying when its in Maps and Dialer and yes it gives it a lack luster feel. The fact that you even have to us ad blockers explains it all.

    • Mario

      WOW! An advertising company selling ads? That's SO strange, who would of known?

  • Rooney-

    i guess the sleeping lion is being awakend! these scumbags couldnt comptetite and now they are challenging like cowards..

  • Asphyx

    Time for Google to bust out those Moto Patents and start shutting down those other companies products...
    When no Cell Phones can be sold maybe then the madness stops!

    • gmaninvan

      I actually hope they don't do that as it will feed the problem. I want to see patent reform. I think Google is doing the right thing by not asserting their portfolio.

      • Asphyx

        The only way you see Patent Reform is when NONE of the companies playing the Patent game can sell any product anymore because they are all dependent on one patent they do not own!

        And when they can't make any money they will not be so willing to waste what little they have on Lawyers.

        • gmaninvan

          I think that isn't quite correct. That instance would result in a FRAND scenario. If a patent is deemed an essential standard, its patent status will be changed to FRAND and it will have to be licensed for a reasonable amount.

          True patent reform comes from legislation.

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    Google (finally) strikes back. The best lawyers in the world will kick some MS, Apple, Blackberry and Sony Ericsson ass. Because they can!

  • tzah

    Android lovers are welcome to check my blog and `LIKE` at : http://extrabuy.wordpress.com

  • Dan Delgado

    Those who can't innovate, litigate. Apple has now become a patent troll. It's pretty sad, really. You would hope this could quickly be ended in Google's favor, but the avalanche of lawsuits instigated by Apple will probably make law firms rich for years, with no real affect on Google and no real benefit for Apple. Apple needs to concentrate on product development, instead of circling the drain as patent trolls.

  • Forget_you

    microsoft blames google for their recent flops. windows phone sucks so
    its googles fault. people prefer google search instead of
    using bing so it is googles fault. microsoft has so many flops lately
    they go to a sad pathetic scroogled campaign. lol microsoft needs to
    quit releasing shit products no one wants and maybe they might sell
    something instead of resulting to these anticompetitive practices.
    Microsoft has went to shit lately and their desperate acts are proving
    it. This is an attack on android/google. and not because they stole anything, but because they are kicking everyones ass in terms of innovation, products and services. just the simple truth.

    • John F. Hendry

      Agree... a giant growing in size stepping on other giant's toe's hopefully continuing the dance of "Do no evil" and "let there be light" to see what's going on as physics goes on to prove the observer collapses the wave function that creates the outcome of any structure through simple observation.

  • Epic Tea

    All these patent trolls are just going to piss off Android and And Google fans and cause them to become even more Loyal to Google.

    • John F. Hendry

      Agree, but the advantage that Apple still has is in it's ability to make music better. Something the Android OS is weak at due to the latency issues as well as many other issues that must be addressed as music continues to dominate people's purchasing decisions.

  • Stoner

    Apple, Microsoft und BlackBerry. So the biggest 3 loser come together:-) Honestly I don't know what is apple's problem with Android. Apple is still making money like hell with overpriced devices. But then apple can not expect to play any greater roll in regards of market share. Both is simply not possible, and has nothing to do with Android. An iphone5c is just a joke, and will not help to sell in boom regions like india or china. A 6 year old kid could have estimate this before.

    • John F. Hendry

      The problem is the same old story: Greed and hate causing History to repeat itself. Apple would do better to worry about the future and problems threatening their own future ability to go to the store and buy food without being killed by a cop on the way to the store whose only concern is to feed his own family at that point in time. A result of large corporations that have replaced the individual's ability to control their own life sitting by and watching American's murdered at the hands of police that now do their biding as June 9, 2009 shows, but in the future will be giving them their orders in a world of dis-order and insanity where the violent reflex actions of the online gamer who was able to crack the AIDS virus DNA code in 3 weeks picks up a new weapon to move on through the game of blood shed and rape where a feeling has gone wild as Nature flips the table of wealth finishing the game from where it left off when E=mc2 introduced a new wait state that created a brief moment of peace relatively speaking.

      When hate that powers greed is used to make the population of greater numbers turn away and run away from the chemical phases of fear that create the observer's needed reflex reactions to avoid pain and survive the rich will hurt the most in time as they lose everything. If the observer does not chase fear then greed powering hate will chase it and the weak force force of fewer numbers will prevail right up to the very last moment when gravity controlled by the weak force itself steps in to show the power of contradiction within every frame of information and dominate the outcome of the electric force. And likely by accident with no anticipation or intention whatsoever for there was no time needed in such a simple frame of information that determined the final outcome. In the end... gravity rules and controls the Universe. Always has... and always will.

      And sometimes within the Universe's obvious clock cycles of endless pain and suffering as heat makes atoms heavier observed on any clear night the word endless is challenged by an asymmetry as the observer is given the opportunity to think straight for a very brief moment in the wheel of time and reflect on it's own action to control it's next reflex reaction. It doesn't happen often, but it is happening now. It's all about being in the right position to take advantage of space being relative to time. And that requires being able to see the ratio involved: e{a}/=hv