Unwired Planet has filed patent infringement claims against Google and Apple. Both companies are charged with infringing on ten patents, but is seems likely that more claims might follow.
The “intellectual property” company is claiming that Apple infringes on ten patents relating to its mobile devices, content systems, messaging, and maps (iPhone, iPad, iPod, iTunes, App Store, Apple Apps, Siri, Apple Push Notification Service, Apple Maps, Local Search, iAds, Safari web browser, Find My iPhone, Find My iPad, and Find My Friends) .
Google is also charged with infringing on ten patents relating to its mobile devices, search and advertising, content systems, messaging, maps, and short-range radio communications (Motorola and Nexus mobile phones and tablets running Android, Google Search, Google AdWords, Google Places, Google Mobile Ads, Google Play, Google Apps, Bouncer, C2DM, GCM, Android Location, Google Maps, Google Street View, Google Latitude, Google My Location, Google+, Google+Local, Google Wallet).
This is a wide ranging attack on both company’s devices and services. The Unwired Planet CEO, Mike Mulica, said in the press release:
“Apple and Google generate substantial revenues from devices and services that rely on the intellectual property that Unwired Planet developed and patented over the last 15 years. They should compensate us for the use of our patented technologies, which are foundational to mobility,”
Unwired Planet was previously known as Openwave, Software.com, Phone.com, and it started life as Libris, Inc. Mulica describes it as:
“Today’s actions follow a careful review that we launched in late 2011 as we began to transform Unwired Planet into an Intellectual Property company,”
In other words it is a patent troll. He went on to say:
“This litigation marks a key step in our multi-pronged strategy to maximize shareholder value through the licensing of our robust portfolio of patents and to protect our IP through litigation against unlicensed parties as necessary.”
So this troll is angry and on the warpath. It actually filed a case last year before the ITC attacking Apple and RIM over four other patents.
This gives Apple and Google a common enemy so can we expect them to join forces? You can bet they are weighing up the seriousness of these claims and maybe even considering an acquisition rather than a court battle. If one of them snapped up the Unwired Planet portfolio it would presumably give them a considerable arsenal to use in the ongoing patent war.