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Judge declares mistrial in patent spat between Motorola, Intellectual Ventures

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A court battle between Intellectual Ventures and Google-owned Motorola Mobility hit a roadblock today, with a US judge declaring a mistrial. Reuters reports that the decision, made by US district court judge Judge Sue Robinson, occurred after jurors couldn't reach a verdict in what turned out to be a two week-long trial. The case was one of two filed against Motorola by IV in two different US district courts.

Jurors couldn't reach a verdict

Intellectual Ventures has been home to a handful of technology spinoffs, though is more well-known for going after other technology companies using its increasingly large collection of patents. This particular case was filed by IV against Motorola in late-2011, accusing the company of infringing on a several of its patents. IV also claimed that it had approached Motorola to try and broker a licensing deal, but that negotiations fell through.

"Mistrials are an occasional fact of life, and it is disappointing (for us, and probably also for Motorola) that the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict," Melissa Finocchio, chief litigation counsel for Intellectual Ventures said in a statement. "But we are looking ahead to the retrial on these patents and also to our two other upcoming trials with Motorola Mobility Inc. later this year."

A Motorola spokesperson said "we continue to believe this lawsuit was based on overbroad patent claims meant to tax innovation."

The decision comes just days after Lenovo announced plans to buy Motorola Mobility from Google as part of a $2.91 billion deal. As part of that agreement, Google will continue to own most of Motorola's patents, a collection that's been under close scrutiny following Google's acquisition of the company for $12.5 billion back in 2012.