Google Squares Off Against Intellectual Ventures in Patent Fight

By Joseph Mandour on January 27, 2014

Patent DisputeOrange County – A patent dispute that began back in 2011 between Google-owned Motorola and Intellectual Ventures is finally heading to court. The lawsuit was filed by Washington-based Intellectual Ventures against Motorola over three smartphone patents, including one that involves the type of technology used in Google Play. The case is making waves in the technology industry by stirring up debate over the legitimacy of companies that achieve success by buying patents and then suing for patent infringement. While Intellectual Ventures contends that Motorola has infringed its patents, Google counters that Intellectual Ventures does not actually make anything and that it is not in the business of creating innovation, but of making profits.

Intellectual Ventures, which is headed by ex-Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold, was founded in 2000 and was initially backed by several high tech companies including Google, Apple and eBay.  Since its founding, however, many have criticized the company from going from what they considered to be a sort of patent defending firm to a patent “super troll”.

Intellectual Ventures has thousands of patents to its name and hundreds of employees working at its Bellevue, Washington headquarters.  In the years since it began filing lawsuits on the patents it owns, it is estimated that the company has made billions in profit.  It is this focus on patent acquisition and profit seeking that Motorola is centering its defense upon in the current patent dispute.

Attorneys for Motorola have already begun painting a picture of the company as a longstanding catalyst of innovation, even making reference to the fact that it was Motorola technology that created the device used to transmit Neil Armstrong’s lunar landing in the sixties.  It contends that Innovative Ventures, on the other hand, does nothing but burden innovation buy buying up patents and filing lawsuits on them, making huge financial strides with no technological advancement.

For its own defense, Intellectual Ventures claims that is not a “patent troll” and that its purchase of patents fuels innovation by rewarding and funding inventors.   It further contends that it does not file frivolous lawsuits and points to the fact that while it has filed other lawsuits in the past, this is the first to go to trial since the company was founded fourteen years ago.

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Posted in: Patent Registration