Judge rules mistrial in IV v Motorola


A US judge has declared a mistrial in a patent infringement dispute between patent owner Intellectual Ventures (IV) and Motorola Mobility.

According to an IV statement, published on February 5, the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict during the trial at the US District Court for the District of Delaware.

District Judge Sue Robinson declared the mistrial nearly two weeks after the trial began on January 24, and just one day into the jury’s deliberations.

The trial was held during a time for strong debate over patent reform in the US with both parties on opposing sides.

Google, which acquired Motorola in 2012, is backing attempts to curb software patents and make it easier to fight lawsuits while IV has warned that there should not be rash actions taken which would weaken patent owners' rights.

In its statement, Melissa Finocchio, chief litigation counsel for IV, said mistrials were “an occasional fact of life”, adding that it was “disappointing” for them and “probably also for Motorola.”

Finocchio added: “We are looking ahead to the retrial on these patents and also to our two other upcoming trials with Motorola Mobility Inc. later this year."

The case involved three patents which cover a range of smartphone technologies.

Motorola said the patents were not valid because the technology is well-known to those within the industry, and that IV only uses its patents to sue others rather than to innovate.

Among the asserted patents was US number 6,557,054, called a “method and system for distributing updates by presenting directory of software available for user installation that is not already installed on user station.”

Bellevue-based IV said Google infringed the patent through its Google Play system, an online electronics store.

A spokesman for Motorola told WIPR: "We continue to believe this lawsuit was based on overbroad patent claims meant to tax innovation."

A date for a re-trial has not been announced.

US District Court, Intellectual Ventures, Google, Motorola Mobility, Patent,