Memorylink sues Motorola over video streaming technology
Wireless broadband technology provider Memorylink filed suit this week against Motorola charging the company breached a memorandum of understanding contract concerning a proprietary wireless video-streaming technology.
The suit alleges Motorola is guilty of willful intent to defraud intellectual property related to Memorylink’s invention of software and hardware components that drive wireless video technology. Memorylink met with Motorola in 1998 to discuss partnering on the technology, said Mike Femal, Memorylink’s attorney at Chicago-based McDonald Hopkins LLC. As part of the discussions, Motorola agreed to provide the mobile radio systems needed to support wireless video transfer.
Femal alleges that Motorola agreed its in-house lawyers would submit the paperwork and pay any fees associated with patenting the video technology to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But when it filed the patents, Motorola added two of its employees who were non-inventors on the application, Femal said. He also claims Motorola’s cache of in-house attorneys took advantage of his clients, who unknowingly signed over some of their patent rights for “no consideration,” he said.
“There was an MOU signed by the parties that would spell out [the terms] … that described how they would share [patent rights], which Motorola reneged on,” Femal said. “The in-house attorneys also failed to disclose to my clients the effect of a joint patent assignment, which basically means they can do whatever they want and not account to the other party for their sales and profits.”
Memorylink wants Motorola’s non-inventors removed from the patent; it also wants the court to throw out the joint patent assignment and it wants to own the rights for any technologies that were developed based on its wireless video-surveillance components.
“Memorylink gave them all their information on streaming video and Motorola [was supposed to deliver] radio technology, but then reneged on that and didn’t give them any technology,” Femal said.
Motorola disputes the claims and believes they are without merit, said Jennifer Erickson, a company spokesperson.
“The company intends to vigorously defend itself against these allegations,” Erickson said. “Throughout all its dealings with Memorylink, Motorola acted in good faith and in compliance with the written agreements between the two companies. While discussions to resolve these issues have been held, Memorylink continues to make demands that are entirely unreasonable under the circumstances.”