| SAN JOSE, Calif.
SAN JOSE, Calif. May 2 Patent owner
Intellectual Ventures has settled a lawsuit against one of its
own investors, chipmaker Xilinx, a case that had been closely
followed by advocates seeking to change the U.S. patent system.
A court filing on Thursday disclosing the settlement did not
discuss terms. Intellectual Ventures and Xilinx Inc had
been scheduled for trial this month.
Separately, a U.S. jury on Friday found that Canon Inc
violated two Intellectual Ventures patents over digital
imaging technology. Damages will be decided at a later
In a statement, Intellectual Ventures chief litigation
counsel Melissa Finocchio said the company was pleased with the
Canon verdict. An IV spokeswoman declined to comment on the
Representatives for Xilinx and Canon could not immediately
be reached for comment.
Chipmaker Xilinx invested in two Intellectual Ventures funds
and licensed a portion of IV's patents, but resisted IV's
entreaties to license more patents in 2010, court filings show.
Xilinx eventually asked a California federal judge to declare
those IV patents invalid, while IV countersued in Delaware,
accusing Xilinx of infringement.
The proceeding came in the midst of a heated debate over
whether it is too easy for patent owners to extract large
royalty payments, and whether patent buying firms spur or stifle
innovation. Advocates for patent reform point to the Xilinx
litigation as a crucial source of information about the way
patent aggregators like IV operate.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark in Delaware
found IV's expert witness on damages "unreliable and
irrelevant," and excluded his testimony from trial. Three other
chipmakers had previously settled patent lawsuits with IV on
Created in 2000, Intellectual Ventures has raised about $6
billion and acquired 70,000 patents and other intellectual
property assets. IV is assembling a new patent acquisition fund
with investors including Microsoft Corp and Sony Corp
, while Apple Inc and Intel Corp
declined to participate.
Over the years IV and other firms like it have faced
criticism from some in the technology industry, who argue that
firms like IV, which do not primarily make products, exploit the
patent system by demanding royalties and threatening litigation.
IV argues that by buying patents from inventors, it creates
a mechanism for them to capitalize on their ideas.
In the Canon lawsuit, also in a Delaware federal court, the
jury on Friday upheld the validity of IV's patents and found
patent infringement, according to court filings. IV will now
proceed to a second trial against Canon next week on two
The Xilinx case in U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
is Intellectual Ventures I LLC et al vs. Xilinx Inc., 10-1065.
The Canon case in U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
is Intellectual Ventures I LLC et al vs. Canon Inc et al,
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Grant McCool)