Cable One, Cequel, Charter, Knology, and Wow! filed suit against Rockstar Consortium and related entities Bockstar, Constellation, and Spherix over alleged violation of FRAND obligations. The plaintiffs allege that Rockstar is misusing the patent portfolio it acquired from Nortel Networks and is violating FRAND (fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory) licensing obligations related to Nortel’s prior participation in standards setting. According to the complaint, shortly after Rockstar acquired the Nortel portfolio, it began a campaign targeting plaintiffs and others for patent infringement. Rockstar’s assertion letters to plaintiffs identified exemplars of the types of communications and networking patents it believed the companies were infringing (including 5,471,474, 5,761,197), but declined to identify a finite number or provide a comprehensive list of allegedly infringed patents. Plaintiffs maintain Rockstar broadly accused companies of infringing its portfolio as a whole and demanded licensing discussions under threat of serial patent litigation. Rockstar required those willing to engage in licensing discussions to sign nondisclosure agreements before receiving information about the patents or license terms; plaintiffs insist this practice was a direct effort by Rockstar to conduct an improper licensing campaign in violation of FRAND obligations. 01/14, Delaware District Court, 1:14cv00055
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