Google, Intellectual Ventures take patent fight to court

Intellectual Ventures claims Google's Motorola unit violates its patents, while the search company says its opponent builds no products and uses its patent portfolio for financial gain.

Intellectual Ventures HQ in Washington.
Intellectual Ventures HQ in Washington. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The long and bitter battle between Google's Motorola Mobility and Intellectual Ventures, a mega patent-holdings company, has found its way to court.

Google and Intellectual Ventures were in court Thursday litigating whether Motorola violated three patents that Intellectual Ventures holds related to smartphone technology. Motorola has said that the asserted patents are invalid, and argues that IV is simply using its portfolio to sue companies and stymie innovation.

Intellectual Ventures has become a lightning rod of controversy and debate in the technology industry. The Bellevue, Wash.-based company has built up a massive trove of patents and has taken aim at a slew of firms that it claims violate its technologies. It has even targeted Capital One, Bank of America, and other banks. Critics say that its tactics make it a "patent troll" that wants nothing more than to profit off the innovations of others.

For its part, Intellectual Ventures has argued that it's simply protecting its intellectual property.

Google and Intellectual Ventures will continue fighting their case into next week. If Google wins, the claims will be tossed out, but if IV takes the victory, it could receive damages.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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