A company that is moving its headquarters to Nevada apparently is transitioning to a business plan that primarily involves suing major corporations for alleged patent infringements. Software and telecom giants Google and Apple are among the first targets of this company’s new strategy. They have been sued in Nevada federal court and each accused of violating 10 patents belonging to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff business is called Unwired Planet. It was formerly known as Openwave. It says that Google AdWords, Google Wallet, and mobile search and advertising features on Google’s Android operating system infringe on patents belonging to Unwired Planet. Similarly, Apple is accused in the lawsuit of infringing patents with its cloud messaging and software used in its mobile devices.

The interesting part of this case is that Unwired Planet appears to be admitting that it is now focusing its business on going to court to collect judgments and financial settlements based on its patent holdings. This new business model began late in 2011, according to a statement from the company’s CEO. Unwired Planet is even relocating to Nevada due to its perceived reputation as having courts that are especially friendly to patent holders.

“This litigation marks a key step in our multi-pronged strategy to maximize shareholder value through the licensing of our … patents and to protect our [intellectual property] through litigation against unlicensed parties as necessary,” the statement went on.

When a business faces litigation that it is confident has little merit, it still can be a difficult calculus to decide whether to mount a vigorous defense in court or play it safe with a settlement. An experienced commercial litigation attorney can help weigh your options when this situation arises.

Source: All Things D, “Google, Apple Hit With Patent Suit From Early Mobile Web Pioneer,” Ina Fried, Sep. 20, 2012

Our law firm represents businesses in a range of commercial litigation. To learn more, please visit our Las Vegas commercial litigation page.