Rockstar Consortium Inc., originally named Rockstar Bidco, is a consortium formed to negotiate licensing for patents acquired from the bankrupt multinational telecommunications and data networking equipment manufacturer Nortel. Members of the consortium are Apple Inc., BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony. Rockstar is a patent holding non-practicing entity (NPE) and submitted the winning US$4.5 billion bid for the Nortel patents at a week-long auction held in New York in June 2011.
Spherix Incorporated, a company founded by Gilbert Levin, has acquired four families of mobile communication patents from the Rockstar Consortium in exchange for initial consideration of up-front cash and Spherix common stock. Rockstar will also receive a percentage of future profits from Spherix after recovery of patent monetization costs and an initial priority return on investment to Spherix.
In 2012, Business Insider listed Rockstar as number 3 on its list of the 8 most fearsome patent trolls in industry. Wired magazine notes that some call them a "straight-up patent troll".