Why Did Intellectual Ventures Sue Motorola Mobility… Even As Google Is An IV Investor?
from the oddities dept
PW points out one additional oddity in the announcement last week that Intellectual Ventures is suing Motorola Mobility for patent infringement: it’s that Google is one of the investors in Intellectual Ventures — meaning that it’s supposedly immune from lawsuits from IV’s portfolio. That leads to a number of open questions. Perhaps IV was trying to sneak the lawsuit in before the merger closes — but that doesn’t make much sense either. The merger is likely to close long before any lawsuit gets anywhere. And, at that point, wouldn’t the lawsuit be moot, since Google supposedly should have access to IV’s entire portfolio? Or is there trouble in paradise between IV and one of its own investors?
As you may have noted, Google has been a lot more aggressive lately, in talking about the problems of the patent system, and specifically of the way patents are being used to hurt innovation. The company has certainly indicated that it’s interested in much more advanced patent reform to fix many of these problems. That’s the kind of thing that could hurt IV. So, perhaps this is a “shot across the bow” of Google? An attempt to send a message to one of its own investors not to “rock the boat”? That’s about the best I can figure, because the lawsuit doesn’t seem to make much sense otherwise.
And, in the meantime, shouldn’t this actually scare off others from signing one of IV’s shakedown deals? If IV is willing to sue anyway, then what good are those deals?