One of the longer-lasting lawsuits related to the smartphone patent wars wrapped up yesterday when a San Francisco jury found Motorola liable for infringing a Fujifilm patent, ordering the company to pay $10.2 million. It was a mixed verdict (PDF), with the jury deciding to invalidate three other Fujifilm patents that were brought to bear.
The case is just one of a complex thicket of patent lawsuits that sprang up around 2010, with pure licensing companies (“patent trolls”), vigorous competitors, and has-beens all lobbing patent accusations over smartphone technology at one another.
Fujifilm v. Motorola, filed in 2012, is one of the only cases from the heyday of what became called the “smartphone patent wars” to actually reach a jury. Fujifilm was one of several combatants in those skirmishes that had no product of its own in the smartphone market, but hoped its patents would still enable it to wring some profits from the suit. Two other companies that were titans of industry in the pre-digital age, Kodak and Technicolor, embraced similar strategies around the same time.
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