Corporations, especially those in the technology industry, often take out numerous patents to protect their products from being used improperly by other companies. At times, the items protected by a patent may not meet all of the requirements for patent protection or may discourage competition within the market.
A recent ruling in a patent infringement case will require it to be heard in California, rather than be moved to Texas as the plaintiff had attempted. The judge's ruling was based on her feeling that the plaintiff, Rockstar Consortium, had set up a sham company in Texas to have the case heard there. Rockstar is being backed by Apple and has filed the action against Google over seven patents. The plaintiff alleges that Google's search and advertising functions infringe upon their patents, and that any Android phones that use the technology are infringe upon the patents as well. Google's argues that the patents are "standard-essential", meaning they are not considered unique and must be used by others in the industry.