Motorola Mobility sued by Google-backed firm

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Motorola Mobility - currently in the process of being taken over by Google - is being sued by a patent-holding firm partially funded by, er, Google.

Intellectual Ventures, which was founded by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold, has filed a patent infringement complaint in the US District Court of Delaware after lengthy talks over six patents broke down.

"Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach agreement on a license," says IV’s chief litigation counsel Melissa Finocchio.

"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."

The patents cover file transfers, updates and remote data management on an 'entertainment device'.

Patent commentator Florian Mueller describes the lawsuit as an 'own goal' for Google.

"Intellectual Ventures has received funding from Google itself, and is now suing Google's most expensive acquisition target ever for the infringement of patents, some of which are software patents that read on Google's Android, or at least on MMI's extensions running on top of Android," he says.

"In other words, Google does not even protect Android device makers against NPEs [non-practicing entities] it invests in."

The patents are titled 'File Transfer System for Direct Transfer Between Computers', 'Illumination Device And Image Projection Apparatus Comprising The Device', 'Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Packet-Centric Wireless Point to Multipoint (PTMP) Transmission System Architecture', 'Portable Computing, Communication and Entertainment Device With Central Processor Carried In A Detachable Handset', 'Method and System For Distributing Updates By Presenting Directory Of Software Available For User Installation That Is Not Already Installed On User Station' and User Station Software That Controls Transport, Storage And Presentation Of Content From A Remote Source'.