Here’s one that definitely fits the bill: On Thursday Intellectual Ventures filed a nine-page Delaware federal district court infringement complaint against Motorola Mobility, which Google is in the process of acquiring for $12.5 billion. The complaint, which claims that Motorola’s Android smartphones and other devices infringe six IV hardware and software patents, was filed by lawyers from Feinberg Day Alberti & Thompson and local counsel Farnan LLP. Feinberg Day was launched in Palo Alto earlier this year by seven IP litigators from Mayer Brown and DLA Piper.
According to the complaint, IV began pressing Motorola to license its patents in January, but “Motorola Mobility has failed and refused to license Intellectual Ventures’ patents on reasonable terms and continues to use those inventions without permission.”
In July Intellectual Ventures filed infringement claims against about a dozen companies, including Hynix Semiconductor Inc., Elpida Memory Inc., Dell Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in Seattle federal district court and the ITC. The company filed its first infringement suits in December 2010, with separate Delaware federal district court complaints against Altera, Microsemi, and Lattice Semiconductor; Hynix and Elpida; and McAfee, Check Point, Symantec, and Trend Micro. As we’ve reported, however, IV’s patents also frequently turn up in infringement suits filed by so-called patent trolls, and the company has acknowledged that it often retains a licensing interest in patents that it hands over to third-party litigants.
Thursday’s suit against Motorola is IV’s first direct foray into the ongoing smartphone patent wars. FOSS Patents blogger Florian Mueller noted Thursday that Google, which could soon be Motorola Mobility’s parent company, has been an IV investor.
By hiring Feinberg Day to bring its suit against Motorola, IV seems to be continuing its practice of parcelling out its litigation to different firms for nearly every case. The company separately tapped Susman Godfrey; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Desmarais LLP, and Irell & Manella for its previous suits.