Do you remember the Rockstar Consortium? They were the group of tech companies, led by Microsoft, Apple, Sony and Ericsson, who bid together on Nortel's patents. The intention was to share the technology between the members of the group. You will notice that there is a big name missing from the group: Google. This was because of Google's decision, turning down the offer to join the group.
This decision turned out to be a bad one, as their unique bidding process ended in a loss. Shortly after the win, Rockstar filed suit against numerous companies, Google included. Those suits have been coming to a head this month. Earlier in November, the main unrelated company, Cisco, settled the suit with Rockstar to the tune of $188 million.
This week, the only truly important case ended when Google agreed to settle "all matters in controversy between the parties" in a filing with a federal court in Texas. This settlement is important because of what it means to the other high profile cases that are related.
Among the other active suits from Rockstar are ASUS, HTC and Samsung - all under suit for their involvement with Android. Google's operating system is the "product" that got them into trouble, and the "product" that they ultimately settled over. Do these other Google partners stand a chance defending themselves over a product whose owner decided they couldn't defend themselves? We will likely know for sure in the next few weeks, either as the cases settle or not.