Thursday, October 24, 2013

LG agrees to pay Vertical Computer Systems for another Android patent license

Not all patent license deals are announced, but before today, 21 royalty-bearing Android patent license agreements (20 agreements between Microsoft and Android device makers as well as the Apple-HTC license) had become publicly known. The 22nd deal was announced today in the form of a mediation report in connection with a case pending in the Eastern District of Texas (where Apple yesterday won a jury trial over an infringement allegation by Wi-LAN).

Here's the deal: LG Electronics settled a case brought by Vertical Computer Systems in November 2010. The terms weren't disclosed, but it's a very safe assumption that Vertical did not let LG off the hook without money changing hands. Here's the official mediation report (this post continues below the document):

13-10-24 Vertical Computer Systems - LG Settlement by Florian Mueller

Vertical sued Samsung (with which its negotiations are at an "impasse" according to another mediatin report) and LG over two patents covering a "system and method for generating websites in an arbitrary object framework". This is obviously a software patent family, and the infringement allegations were about Android. It appears that claim construction went fairly well for Vertical (but I haven't analyzed this in detail because I focus on litigation between large operating companies).

A trial was scheduled for early May 2014. If Samsung doesn't settle in the meantime, then that trial will go forward in little more than six months.

Unless things change during the course of further litigation including appeals, Vertical may have quite some growth opportunity in Android patent licensing.

As I explained when I first reported on this case, Vertical is not a troll. Patent licensing is of increasing importance to its business, though. Yesterday Vertical announced the impending issuance of another patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,578,266 on a "Method and System for Providing a Framework for Processing Markup Language Documents".

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