Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

Summary:Motorola Mobility is being sued by a Google-funded company over a patent infringement allegation into Android smartphones. Awkward.

Motorola is being sued by a venture funding company, partly bankrolled by Google, over six patents used in Android.

The lawsuit which screams 'awkward' for Google is brought by Intellectual Ventures, a vast collector of patents and intellectual property, founded by former Microsoft chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold.

By buying patents and intellectual property from companies it invests in, it collects revenue in licensing fees.

The patents relate to file transfer between computers, networking capability and portable computing, as ZDNet UK discusses.

Claiming that the funding company has "successfully signed licensing agreements with many of the top handset manufacturers in the world", it had been in discussions with Motorola for "some time". As talks between Motorola and the funding company "broke down", a lawsuit was issued.

"Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach agreement on a licence", Intellectual Ventures chief litigation counsel Melissa Finocchio said, adding: "We have a responsibility to our current customers and our investors to defend our intellectual property rights against companies such as Motorola Mobility who use them without a licence."

Over the summer, Google set the ball rolling on buying Motorola Mobility, a handset maker, to combine its Android mobile operating system ventures with a hardware subsidiary; making Google a fully-fledged phone maker.

As the BBC points out, some have questioned Google's ability to help and assist its partners.

In May this year, Intellectual Ventures filed a legal disclosure naming Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, along with others, as funding partners in the company. The disclosure documents can be found here.

Motorola Mobility declined to comment, and Google did not respond at the time of publication.

The suit can be found here.

Related:

Topics: Mobility, Google, Legal

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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