We were just noting the oddities of Intellectual Ventures suing Motorola Mobility Inc.
as MMI is likely being acquired by Google -- since Google is an IV investor, and supposedly immune from suits over IV's patents. It would seem like once a deal closes, that the lawsuit would be moot. Along those lines, the folks at M*CAM, who spend a lot of time doing detailed analysis of patent quality, have written a compelling open letter to the Justice Department
. You see, the Justice Department is investigating the Motorola Mobility buy to see if it would be anti-competitive. Now, pretty much everyone (including Google) has admitted that the Motorola Mobility buy is mostly about the patents, and patents are technically a monopoly, but they're a legal monopoly. However, the pooling of patents can be anti-competitive. Either way, M*CAM can't quite figure out the reasons here, noting that vertical integration isn't seen as a problem by the Justice Department (see, Oracle, Sun). But if it's the patents
that are the issue, M*CAM suggests the DOJ is "looking into the wrong thing:"
There’s a shakedown going on, but you’re too concerned with the parking meters across the street to hear the tinkling of coins on the sidewalk.
Because speaking of patent pooling... an intellectual venture across that street will lead you to a nice pool to dive into. And lucky for you, we happen to have the insight to light up that pool for a nightly swim, should you decide to take the jump in on behalf of Lady Justice.
Yes, the letter then shifts into an analysis of how Intellectual Ventures appears to be involved in anti-competitive behavior, that appears to go against the DOJ's own guidelines on what constitutes an anti-competitive patent pool. It's worth reading the whole thing, and wondering which company is likely to do more to hinder innovation over the next five years: Google merged with Motorola Mobility or Intellectual Ventures?