AmiCOUR IP Group News and Opinions

Settlement Pressure:
Oracle May Depose Google CEO Larry Page

"Creepy" Google Whining:
"...suits are meritless works of companies that can't innovate."

It's a Done Deal:
$4.5 Billion Buys
Nortel Pats


Welcome to the AmiCOUR IP Blog.  We invite your comments.  Past Issues.

July 22, 2011 - A California Magistrate Judge will permit Oracle's attorneys to depose Google's CEO as part of its investigation  to determine whether infringement was willful. Time will be limited to just two hours. The order is part of the widespread mobile device patent wars largely focused on Google's Android operating system. Google is accused of infringing several of Oracle's Java patents and copyrights.  A stay during re-examination is also under consideration, and rumors of a settlement have circulated. Productive talks shortly after ordered depositions of corporate board members or high level executives are not unusual in litigation.  In related telecom industry news, interest in acquisition of the coveted InterDigital portfolio is increasing in the wake of the Nortel sale. Google is reporting lower cash reserves than Apple, but both appear to be qualified  bidders.

July 19, 2011 - Website DailyTech today reported a verbal tirade by Google's former CEO Eric Schmidt attacking Apple for filing infringement suits and ITC actions against Droid handset manufacturers HTC, Samsung, and Motorola. The bitter comments were made to an audience at Tokyo's Mobile Revolution conference. While the mobile device IP wars are unprecedented, things have clearly not gone well for Google's partners. Apple recently prevailed before the ITC against HTC on two key patents. Microsoft has also enforced its IP, with a reported $5 per phone settlement by HTC. The IP troubles came on the heels of a widely reported Droid system error that forced some owners to reset phones to factory settings, wiping out stored data and programs. Although Schmidt may have sympathetic ears in Asia, Google is not likely to send any representatives to October's Annual Meeting of the Licensing Executives Society where it is planning a mini-plenary session on mobile device patent licensing. The professional Society, with a rank and file that includes a significant percentage of patent attorneys, also found an empty Google seat at last year's session when panelists addressed the settlement structure for the Google Books copyright infringement litigation. Apple's Don Ginsburg is slated at this year's Meeting to discuss his innovative app and accessory licensing programs and Microsoft, like Apple, has taken an active leadership role in the influential professional Society. Previous AmiCOUR blog reports have covered Microsoft's shift toward patent enforcement, along with the seemingly endless stream of problems encountered by "creepy" Google. Google reportedly owns only about 600 patents and failed in its bid to purchase the Nortel portfolio.

July 15, 2011 - When news reports circulated announcing that a consortium including Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Research in Motion, Ericsson, and EMC were the successful bidders for the coveted Nortel patent portfolio, it did not  take long until the deal began having secondary effects. The patent mega-deal came in at $750,000 per patent, setting an unprecedented benchmark for telecom industry average  IP values, and patents as a whole. The news also came on the heels of the crystal clear Microsoft v. i4i ruling affirming settled expectations that patent invalidation must be proven by "clear and convincing" evidence, including Supreme Court instructions stating that when any of a defendant's evidence is ambiguous, the ambiguities should be resolved against that defendant. As the pendulum started to swing back in favor of inventors and patent owners, settlement talks in proceeding cases suddenly became meaningful, and new assertions increased. The investment community also noticed, and the Wall Street Journal soon took note of a 15 percent increase in the stock price of licensing giant InterDigital, now rumored to be exploring its new IP valuations and options.