Intellectual-VenturesFor the first time ever, Intellectual Ventures finds itself in patent court this week.

The Bellevue-based company run by former Microsoft technology chief Nathan Myhrvold is in a battle with Google’s Motorola Mobility unit over patents relating to smartphone technologies. Intellectual Ventures originally sued Motorola back in 2011 and was ultimately unsuccessful in reaching a licensing deal.

As a result, the court will decide. The 10-day trial involves three patents owned by Intellectual Ventures and will begin on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

Intellectual Ventures, a 13-year-old firm, has been subject of much controversy in the tech industry over its business practices, including this scathing report by This American Life. But the company is reportedly slowing down its patent buying in recent months as it looks to raise as much as $3 billion in capital.

This week’s trial is notable in part due to the ongoing relationship between the two sides. Google, which invested Intellectual Ventures’ first fund, told Reuters this past October that it elected not to for a second time.

“We joined Intellectual Ventures’ first fund as a way to defend ourselves against unjustified patent claims,” Google spokesman Matt Kallman said. “Once we came to understand IV’s operating model, we didn’t join its later funds.”

Motorola was acquired by Google for $12.5 billion in 2011 as the search giant gained access to Motorola’s patent portfolio. Google recently battled Microsoft in court in another high-profile patent case concerning Motorola, ultimately losing out to the Redmond software company.

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  • YP

    all we can hope for IV is to die of a quick death. Patent trolls have no place in this world.

  • Viet Nguyen

    Something doesn’t jibe quite right with Google’s claim they invested in IV to protect themselves from unjustified patent claims. They decided not to invest in later rounds after discovering more about IV’s business model? Did this then open them up to IV’s patent claims? Did they feel IV was being unethical? The response raises more questions than it answers.

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