Feeds

Cisco asks court to bin Rockstar patents

Rides out to defend customers

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Cisco has thrown on the armour and couched the lance to defend itself and its customers from the zombie Nortel patent lawsuits.

The Nortel patent portfolio, bought by the Rockstar Consortium and since partly spun out to subsidiaries Bockstar and Constellation (yes, these are the real names), has been the basis for an ongoing campaign to extract money both from vendors and from the cable companies that use their kit.

Technologies targeted in the Rockstar-Bockstar-Constellation action include a couple of dozen patents covering high-speed broadband, switched video technology, MPLS networking, Ethernet passive optical networks, and multimedia provision over IP.

As Cisco's counter-claim states, “the Known Accused Customers use Cisco products, to implement technologies, products, or services including Ethernet (including Ethernet over optical transport), whole house DVR, MoCA, the DOCSIS Standards, high speed internet (including DSL), voice over IP, digital video, managed VPN, and Layer 3 VPN.”

Customers that have copped lawyers' letters over the patents include Time Warner Cable, Windstream, Knology, WOW!, Cable One and others. Cisco says the plaintiffs refused to enter into negotiations with any of the customers they accused unless the customer signed an NDA, something which its counter-claim says “concealed the scope” of the assertions and “cast a cloud of uncertainty over Cisco's business”.

Cisco is seeking declaratory judgements on the claims against it. It's also filed this counter-suit in Delaware rather than in the patent wonderland of Texas.

The problem for the industry is that Nortel, which like most large vendors licensed its patents into standards under normal FRAND terms, no longer exists, and Rockstar and its spawn have the patents, but aren't bound by the licensing agreements. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.