Ina Fried

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Intellectual Ventures Joins the Mobile Patent War, Suing Motorola Mobility

Intellectual Ventures filed suit Thursday against Motorola Mobility, saying that the company is infringing on its patents and refuses to take a license to its technology.

The patent amassing firm, which was started by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, said it has filed suit in Delaware federal court.

“Intellectual Ventures has successfully signed licensing agreements with many of the top handset manufacturers in the world, and has been in discussions with Motorola Mobility for some time,” Chief Litigation Counsel Melissa Finocchio said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach agreement on a license.”

Finocchio said the company’s preference is to negotiate deals rather than head to court, but Thursday’s move shows its willingness to do the latter.

“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,” Finocchio said. “Our goal continues to be to provide companies with access to our portfolio through licensing and sales, but we will not tolerate ongoing infringement of our patents to the detriment of our current customers and our business.”

Of course, Intellectual Ventures is far from alone in filing mobile patent lawsuits. Oracle is suing Google, Apple is suing HTC and Samsung (and vice versa), Microsoft is suing Motorola and Barnes & Noble, to name just a few of the court actions under way.

Unlike those businesses, though, Intellectual Ventures doesn’t make products of its own, making it tough to countersue them for patent infringement. For more on the company, check out our coverage from 2008, when Myhrvold appeared at D6.

IV vs. Motorola

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald