There’s an old saying that tells us it’s a curse to live in interesting times. For those who work in the technology space, there has never been a more interesting time, though that is far from a curse. A confluence of trends in the mobile device space, including global competition, open innovation and convergence, has created a complicated landscape when it comes to intellectual property.
According to Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft Corp.’s Innovation and Intellectual Property Group, this complexity helps explain the rise in litigation in the patent space. With a number of international players in countries like China, Korea and Taiwan attempting to differentiate their devices with specific features, patents hold more value than ever. These devices, which include technology ranging from voice and video recorders to GPS devices to telephones and more, might include thousands of different patents, so the likelihood of litigation has increased.