Mobile phone companies issue more lawsuits than a claims lawyer living above Drunk Fred’s “Banana Peel and Handgun Testing” facility, all against each other. The telecoms legal situation looks like someone dropped World War II into the middle of World War I except everyone has attaché cases instead of guns. Most of these claims are about how there is only really one way to build a box that phones other boxes, and how each company wishes the others weren’t allowed to do it. This ongoing attempt to transfer every phone bill in the world directly on to the lawyers got a little bit simpler this week, with Motoral and Huawei dropping their lawsuits against each other.
Last July Motorola sued Huawei for theft of trade secrets. Huawei responded by suing for the illegal transfer of intellectual property, which is apparently a different thing if you’ve spent long enough corporate law. The counter-suit doesn’t mean anything in itself – a telecoms company will counter-sue you if you sneak up behind it and shout “Boo!” It’s more of a reflex action than pulling their hand away from a hot stove, because they might be able to sue the stove-owner. What might mean something is that while the two companies mutually dropped the lawsuits, they did so on the condition that Motorola pay Huawei money for the legal right to transfer intellectual property.
We’re no legal experts, and in fact the following sentence should be taken less seriously than a clown holding an empty scotch bottle (and have ”allegedly” inserted between every second word), but the innocent victim isn’t usually the one who agrees to pay a pile of money you could probably stack up and use as a diving board. Or to do legally do exactly what they were accused of doing. Or issue statements saying, “Everything is fine, and Huawei were totally innocent of what we said, and we were ….we’re paying them money and everything is fine. Now.” Honestly, we don’t care who did what as long as everything is resolved, and can only hope that other companies will follow suit. And focus on making better phones, rather than trying to prevent anyone else from making any.