Intellectual Ventures sued Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) for patent infringement on Thursday (10/06/2011) with case title “Intellectual Ventures LLC v. Motorola Mobility Inc., 1:11-cv-00908-UNA, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington)”.
Intellectual Ventures was founded in 2000 by Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft Corp. executive who has focused on creative ideas, rather than products based on those ideas. The firm has raised over $5 billion and holds a portfolio of more than 35,000 patents. The company has filed over 30 lawsuits against various companies in the last couple of years, earning it the reputation of a ‘patent troll,’ or a predatory patent-holding company.
Intellectual Ventures claims that Motorola Mobility has infringed on six patents related to transferring files among computers and technology used in an “entertainment device,” and claims at least 18 Motorola Mobility products infringe the patents in the complaint.
Intellectual Ventures claims that Motorola Mobility has directly infringed one or more claims of US7810144B2, US6557054B2, US6658464B2, US7409450B2, US7120462B2 and US6412953B1 by making, offering or selling in US and associated hardware and software devices and components included but not limited to, the Electrify, Photon 4G, XPRT, Titanium, Atrix 4G, Triumph, Rambler, Bali, i576, Quantico, Brutei680, Brutei686, Clutch i475, i412, i886, Milestone X, Theory and Lapdock for the Atrix without authority.
Intellectual Ventures says it has earned more than $2 billion in licensing fees, but its recent wave of litigation suggests investors are pressing for more.
Intellectual Ventures has successfully signed licensing agreements with many of the top handset manufacturers in the world, and has been in discussions with Motorola Mobility for some time.
Intellectual Ventures noted in its complaint that it first approached Motorola Mobility about licensing its inventions in January, roughly eight months before Google announced plans to buy the device maker.
All the six patents acquired by Intellectual Ventures are most recent (last two months).
||Date of acquisition
||File transfer system for direct transfer between computers
||H. Space Data Services
||Method and system for distributing updates by presenting directory of software available for user installation that is not already installed on user station
||Twintech E.U. LLC
||User station software that controls transport, storage, and presentation of content from a remote source
||Twintech E.U. LLC
||Transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) packet-centric wireless point to multi-point (PtMP) transmission system architecture
||Van Drebbel Mariner LLC
||Portable computing, communication and entertainment device with central processor carried in a detachable handset
||Balustare Processing NY LLC
||Illumination device and image projection apparatus comprising the device
||Industrial Technology Research Institute
Impact on Google
This lawsuit against Motorola will certainly affect its acquisition by Google for $12.5 billion. A big rationale for Google purchasing Motorola was its vast portfolio of nearly 17,000 patents to boost the Android platform and protect Google from future litigation. Although this doesn’t affect Google directly as Motorola’s acquisition is still under review, it could prolong the time it takes for the deal to be completed.
Four of the six patent violations are software patents that Intellectual Ventures alleges relate to the Android platform, which is deployed in Motorola smartphones like Atrix, Photon 4G, and Milestone. Google could face a bigger headache if this legal battle isn’t sorted out before Motorola’s acquisition.