Innovation Asset Blog

Smartphone patent wars could start sooner in supply chains

Electronic design automation specialists from Tela Innovations have filed two separate suits against several market-leading mobile handset manufacturers it suggests have infringed upon patented technologies related to the automation of integrated-circuit manufacturing processes.

HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, Nokia and Pantech Wireless are each defendants in separate trials slated for Delaware District Court and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The Delaware suit seeks permanent injunction and compensatory damages whereas the ITC filing pushes for an exclusion order which would ban the importation of infringing smartphones and tablets produced by, or on behalf of, the listed defendants.

"Tela has, and continues to, create technology to address critical technical and economic challenges facing the semiconductor industry," said Scott Baker, president and CEO of Tela. "Given the significance of our company's investment in this technology and associated products, it was necessary to take legal action at this time."

While major mobile device players such as the defendants are certainly no strangers to the complexities of intellectual property management, the Tela litigation takes a different tone. According to Network World, it may set precedent for vendors deeper inside the technology "food chain" to dictate how their designs and components are integrated in smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronic devices.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.