Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

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.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Google, Legal
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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.

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Topics: Mobility, Google, Legal

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21 comments
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  • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

    So Google is effectively suing itself? You think with talks on purchasing MMI, they would stop any litigation, unless it is to drive the price down. This could also be a hedge, if the deal does not go through, then the lawsuit stands.
    Rick_Kl
    • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

      @Rick_Kl
      They heard Microsoft was getting $5-$10 per Android phone sold, and wanted their share of the pie.
      WebSiteManager
    • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

      @Rick_Kl <br>I think we agree on very limited set of subject matter and this is one of them.
      Ram U
    • Read the article!

      @Rick_Kl Despite the typically misleading headline, Google is one investor among several. It is incumbent on every corporation to maximize value to the shareholders, not to cater to one individual shareholder (Google).
      radleym
      • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

        @radleym Very true but at the same time I am waiting to see how long this case is described as Apple filing another case against Android.
        non-biased
    • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

      @Rick_Kl
      Think of it this way...since the venture firm also include the likes of Micro$haft, Apple and Amazon...Google effectively is suing a future partner to provide financial benefit to their competition...and all the while, the lawyers are laughing as they go to the bank to deposit their paycheck...
      SoccerDad#2
  • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

    This is a case of when patent law suits run amok.
    Return_of_the_jedi
    • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

      @Return_of_the_jedi
      The axis of evil software: M$, Apple and Oracle are instigating patent trolls against companies embracing FOSS. The law needs to be changed and the culprits called out.
      The Linux Geek
      • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

        @The Linux Geek <br>Really? Here the investment banker is not totally funded by Apple, Microsoft and/Oracle eluding Google, it is also funded by Google itself. What does MSFT, AAPL and ORCL have to do with when Google itself is shooting in its own toe?
        Ram U
      • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

        @Rama.NET You don't see the contradiction in your post? Google is just a shareholder. It is up to the investment company to maximize its value, not to cater to a.single investor. I severely doubt Google had any choice in the matter - except to sell out.<br>I've often noted the lack of logic in your posts. Typical MS shill.

        REPLY TO RAMA.NET POST BELOW:

        It has nothing to do with supporting google or not supporting google. It has to do with the ability of ONE SHAREHOLDER among several to decide who the company will or will.not sue.
        So tell me, clearly and logically, how Google is supposed to stop this patent troll investment company from suing whomever they want? You talk like Google is the sole owner of the inveatment firm, when thay are only one investor. Say you own shares in IBM - even a lot of shares - and IBM is suing, say, your mother. You think IBM is going to drop the suit because you don't like it?
        You obviously just read the title and saw a chance to dump on Google, and made yet another senseless post. Just because you're a troll with some fixation for/against some company, don't assume everybody is that insecure.

        Sheesh! Can't there be any discusssion here anymore without this stupid fanaticism?
        radleym
      • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

        @radleym<br>So if I support google you will see logic in my posts. Where did I contradict myself? Please reread, and if you have reading comprehension issues please take reading classes.<br>What should i expect from a Typical google paid shill and a troll.
        Ram U
      • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

        @radleym Your response if full of assumptions as well. As far as I saw we don't know what stake Google has versus the other investors, they might be majority share holder but you assume they have no say what so ever. Not saying you are wrong but that doesn't mean you are right either.
        non-biased
  • Only one thing to say...

    Buawahahahahahahahahahaha.....
    NoAxToGrind
  • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

    The line "founded by former Microsoft chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold" says it all.

    I recommend reading http://paidcontent.org/article/419-giant-patent-holder-intellectual-ventures-investors-revealed-in-court/

    That's not your usual investment - sounds more like extortion business
    "They invested under duress, and knew that litigation with IV might be the end result if they didn???t pay up to become an ???investment.???"
    BrettlMaster
    • Right, it's all Microsoft's fault

      @BrettlMaster
      get real.
      William Farrell
    • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

      @BrettlMaster <br>Well, well, well, when did Google become subsidiary of MSFT?<br>For that matter, most of the brains in Google came from Microsoft, and good example is their Vice President Vic Gundotra, he worked for Microsoft for 15 years before moving to Google. And as per your conspiracy theories, you and Linux Geek would think Microsoft placed Vic there in Google to crash it. Get real.
      Ram U
  • Typical Google

    Left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.
    William Farrell
  • IV is the scourge of the IP world

    The sad thing is they make nothing and protect nothing. They buy up mostly really juck patents not worth the paper they are printed on. Failed concepts and ideas that never worked as planned.<br><br>But when you have 30,000 pieces of toilet paper patents, you can generally find some claim hidden in obscure corners on patents not even dealing with tech in question.<br><br>At least companies like QualComm and ARM originated the concepts behind their IP. Companies like Apple, Samsung and HTC are protecting real product lines.

    PS: I think IV actually started out with nobel intentions. Get a large group of large tech companies together to buy up this junk stuff to remove it from ever being seen again. But IV allowed outside investors that made no product and the only way they can see ROI is by offensively using the patents through agents like LodSys and the like.
    Bruizer
  • The definition of patent troll

    This company is the definition of patent troll.

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

    The laws should be changed so only companies that have a use for the patent can hold a patent.
    rarsa
  • RE: Motorola sued by Google-funded company over Android patents

    This is crazy.
    anto31