Barely two weeks after finally going to trial, the US District Court for the District of Delaware has declared a mistrial in the patent infringement suit brought by Intellectual Ventures against Motorola Mobility. While Intellectual Ventures is definitely one-minded about seeing the case through, the players behind the trials have all but shifted over the course of the years.
The patent case started in 2011 when Intellectual Ventures (IV), back then advertising itself as a patent hedge fund sort of entity, sued Motorola for infringing on a number of its patents. These patents focus on certain features of Android, particularly with Google Play, which are, of course, not only found on Motorola’s devices. Intellectual Ventures claim that other manufacturers, such as HTC and and Samsung already license patents from them so Motorola should do the same. After failing to reach an agreement, IV took Motorola to court.
What’s rather interesting about this case is that Google, who of course makes the very same Android and Google Play that IV claims to have patents over, is, or was, one of the investors in IV. However, at the resumption of the trial last month, a Google lawyer practically came short of calling IV a patent troll. The lawsuit was also filed in late 2011, months after Google announced its intention to purchase Motorola. In 2012, that acquisition was finalized, putting Google in an awkward situation of being an investor in the plaintiff and owner of the defendant. Now, however, Motorola is owned by Lenovo and it is unknown whether that will have any bearing in the case.
According to Intellectual Ventures’ statement, the jury in the case was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial. The two will face off once again on April 7 for another go. IV also has another patent lawsuit pending against Motorola, this time in Florida. The patent infringement case was filed in 2013 and will go to trial in November this year.
SOURCE: Intellectual Ventures