Motorola has begun their trial against alleged patent troll Intellectual Ventures this morning. Opening statements were heard in a Delaware courtroom, where a case brought against Motorola in 2011 is finally having its day. Motorola will attempt to remind the jury of their long history of innovation, while IV will try and keep the focus on the patents in question.
Intellectual Ventures was started by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold. Originally marketing themselves as a type of patent hedge fund, meant to aid in defense against trolls, the aim quickly changed. Looking for big payouts, IV began looking for big payouts via litigation and licensing. Now, in a squabble over three patents, IV might have their biggest challenge yet.
The patents in question pertain to a myriad of smartphone related technology. The language in the lawsuit itself is vague in reference to the technology, only referencing things like “Illumination Device and Image Projection Apparatus Comprising the Device” and “Portable Computing, Communication, and Entertainment Device With Central Processor Carried In A Detachable Handset”. Of course, this was brought in 2011, and Google purchased Motorola in 2012. Google is famously reluctant to settle such cases, instead opting to have their day in court, which could prove troublesome for IV.
Google-Motorola attorney William Boice said “There is no building at Intellectual Ventures. They are in the business of bringing lawsuits.” Intellectual Ventures counters that by noting the types of suits they bring. They also contend that the types of patents they hold don’t make them a patent troll. The jury is could be able to decide on this sometime soon, as the trial is only expected to last eight days.