Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola over Alleged Patent Infringement

By: Ed Silverstein

Intellectual Ventures is suing Motorola Mobility alleging its technology infringes on six patents with its Android (News - Alert)-based smartphone, according to news reports.

The BBC said that company negotiations with Motorola (News - Alert) broke down over licensing, which led to the legal action.

In a new statement, Intellectual Ventures says it “will not tolerate ongoing infringement of our patents to the detriment of our current customers and our business,” the BBC adds.

Google is a part investor in Intellectual Ventures (News - Alert). Other investors include Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Nokia, Apple, SAP, NVIDIA and eBay, the BBC said. Customers are HTC and Samsung.

The company has over 35,000 patents. Most came when the company bought intellectual property from other firms and from inventors, according to the BBC.

For example, TMCnet reported earlier this year that BlueCat Networks (News - Alert) has acquired patents from Intellectual Ventures “to protect its core business and has become a customer in IV's IP for Defense program. Under the program, BlueCat Networks can acquire additional patents from IV's portfolio of more than 35,000 intellectual property assets. The deal marks the latest in a series of new customers for IV across multiple industries, ranging from emerging companies to established global technology giants.”

In fact, Intellectual Ventures is ranked as of the top five holders of patents in the United States as of 2011, the BBC said.

“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,” said Melissa Finocchio, chief litigation counsel, Intellectual Ventures, in a statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach agreement on a license. 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 license. Our goal continues to be to provide companies with access to our portfolio through licensing and sales, but we will not tolerate ongoing infringement of our patents to the detriment of our current customers and our business.”

The patents at issue are those that relate to "file transfers, remote data management and updates on mobile devices," the BBC explains.