contentguardContentGuard, a subsidiary of Bellevue-based patent holding firm Pendrell Corporation, announced today that it has filed a massive patent infringement lawsuit against Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Huawei and Google-owned Motorola Mobility.

At issue is digital rights management (DRM) technology for protecting content from piracy on devices including smartphones and tablets. ContentGuard’s complaint implicates Amazon’s Kindle app, Apple iTunes and Google Play, among other services.

ContentGuard says it approached the companies to license its patents in the past, but didn’t end up reaching licensing agreements.

pendrell“Unfortunately, other companies have chosen to take the opposite approach, continuing to unlawfully use ContentGuard’s intellectual property even after acknowledging that they should pay for its use,” James Baker, ContentGuard’s Vice President for Licensing and Strategic Development said in a press release. “After significant time, effort, and expense has been invested by ContentGuard to resolve these matters amicably, it is unfortunate that we are forced to resort to the courts to protect the significant investment we have made in innovation.”

Pendrell purchased ContentGuard, which was started in 2000 as a partnership between Xerox and Microsoft, and its patent portfolio in 2011 for $90 million dollars.

Motorola Mobility declined to comment on this report. None of the other defendants involved in the litigation were immediately available for comment. A copy of ContentGuard’s complaint can be found below.

Update: BlackBerry declined to comment on this report. Amazon, Apple and Huawei have not responded to requests for comment.

ContentGuard Complaint 121813

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  • dongle

    Interesting that Pendrell has now moved from wannabe patent troll to actual patent troll. Also interesting that the complaint spends a lot of time talking about actual products developed by ContentGuard to differentiate them from a normal patent troll that has never had any operating business or real products.

  • Out For Justice

    Interesting Microsoft is not in the list of defendants. Pendrell must be a front to MSFT’s litigation activities. Those which can’t create litigate…

    • Smitters

      Nor is Samsung.

      • Out For Justice

        Good point.

    • dongle

      Pendrell is public and there is no indication that Microsoft is a meaningful shareholder in their proxy statement. Microsoft, HP, Adobe and others are described as having already licensed ContentGuard’s technology.

      • Out For Justice

        Yes and there is no indication that they are still working with the NSA either, but they are…

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