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Tech giants take aim at patent-licensing firms

Nevada is home to a number of companies with presence in the national and global markets. Sometimes, these businesses become involved in complex legal issues with major companies, who are pursuing legal strategies that are part of a larger corporate goal. This type of commercial litigation can often be quite complicated, and may take several years to fully resolve.

Recently, tech giants such as Google and Adobe have declared their intentions to target patent-licensing firms through both litigation and congressional lobbying. These Internet companies claim that some of these firms are purchasing patents in order to aggressively pursue royalties, in particular by targeting large tech companies and their customers.

Beneficial, a Nevada-incorporated company, is currently embroiled in litigation with Google. The case stems from two patent infringement suits involving the same parties, which were both settled in 2010. The tech company is now claiming that Beneficial breached this settlement agreement when it pursued litigation against Google customers. Google claims that its customers are covered under the licensing agreement, and should be shielded from such lawsuits; a Texas jury agreed, awarding Google with nominal damages.

In the complicated world of intellectual property, business disputes can be negotiated strategically. Sometimes, a company may pursue a certain line of litigation in order to combat a perceived unfair competition issue, fraud, or other deceptive practices. When this type of corporate dispute arises, customers are often left wondering where they figure into the equation. Consumers who wish to better understand their personal liabilities within an extensive intellectual property dispute may want to speak with a lawyer to better understand their situations.

Source: Clinton Herald, “Google wins $1 victory against patent owner harassing customers,” Susan Decker, Jan. 27, 2014

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