Intellectual Ventures reminded the mobile world Thursday that it too would like to collect an Android tax. The patent-holding company filed a lawsuit against Motorola (NYSE: MMI) alleging that Motorola is stepping on IV’s patents with several of its phones, as the mobile patent mess just keeps churning.
IV is well known in the technology industry as a predator, perhaps the most emblematic of the “protection racket” approach to patent litigation. It’s the world’s largest holder of patents, and it either attempts to find companies that it thinks it can argue infringe those patents and either negotiate a license or file a lawsuit.
“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. Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach agreement on a license,” IV’s Chief Litigation Counsel Melissa Finocchio said in a statement.
Now that Samsung has signed a licensing deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) for its mobile patents, Motorola is the juiciest target in the mobile world, especially with the knowledge that it will take longer than expected for Google (NSDQ: GOOG) to complete its proposed acquisition of the company following federal review. Both Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Microsoft have filed patent-related suits against Motorola despite the fact that Google thought highly enough of Motorola’s patent portfolio to spend $12.5 billion on the company, and now IV will get its turn.