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Tue, Oct

Back to the future: Good sues MobileIron and AirWatch

Blog

Yesterday I received the following pitch. "Good Technology has filed two separate lawsuits for patent infringement on its software and application – a sign that the smartphone wars are moving from devices to apps." Sounds great, huh? 

Like, we've all had so much fun following patent litigation between Apple, Samsung and HTC et al, that the good news is that some of that action is moving to apps. Let's move this whole patent thing along here.

Well, hey, some of us have memories. Or at least working search engines. 

Good Technology, or Visto as it was known before Visto reversed into the Good brand after buying Good from Motorola (keeping up?) has been at the centre of some major patent cases for years. And years. And we covered many of them right here on Mobile Europe.

Visto versus Smartner (2005) 

Visto versus RIM/Blackberry (2006) 

Visto versus Microsoft. (2006) 

Visto versus Good Technology. (2006) This one is particularly good because it includes one of the very same patents (United States Patent No. 6,151,606) that Good itself is now accusing Mobile Iron and Airwatch of infringing. This action was only eventually dropped when Visto took Good off Motorola's hands in 2009. 

Visto Versus Seven (2007) 

It wasn't just Visto, of course. One of the major disputes in this area was between Blackberry and NTP. (2005) 

So, although companies have every right to defend their intellectual property, jazzing this up as "smartphone wars now moving to apps" as some sort of PR hook seems...disingenuous. When it comes to patent wars, there's nothing new in it. Patent disputes, like the poor, you will always have with you: whether that's in smartphones or "apps". 

Good Technology Press Release:

Good Technology, a pioneer in secure enterprise mobility, announced that it has filed two separate patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against MobileIron Inc. and AirWatch LLC. The lawsuit against MobileIron also includes Lanham Act and related claims alleging MobileIron engaged in a marketing campaign based on falsehoods and misleading claims about Good and its product offerings. At the heart of these lawsuits is Good’s technology, which is vital to the utility, function, and safety of mobile data and devices.

King Lee, CEO of Good Technology said, “Smartphones and tablets have become the most important and ubiquitous piece of technology we use in our daily lives. Good has pioneered the technology and products critical to the backbone and safety of these mobile devices, and these lawsuits are about two blatant infringers of our technology – MobileIron and AirWatch. We have spent hundreds of millions of dollars researching, developing, and marketing our solutions. Thousands of organizations worldwide, including half of the FORTUNE 100, trust us to safely, efficiently and reliably scale their mobile enterprises, and we intend to vigorously defend our intellectual property rights around the world.”

Founded in 1996, Good’s innovations in the area of mobile security and management have resulted in broad intellectual property protection for its innovations, including over 75 patents, a good number of which are early, highly-cited, foundational patents. The patents in the lawsuit cover core technology first developed in the late 1990s that enable users to securely access email and other business data while mobile.

The patents Good has asserted in these lawsuits include:

United States Patent No. 6,151,606 issued for an invention entitled "System and Method for Using a Workspace Data Manager to Access, Manipulate and Synchronize Network Data."

United States Patent No. 8,012,219 issued for an invention entitled “System and Method for Preventing Access to Data on a Compromised Remote Device.”

United States Patent No. 7,970,386 issued for an invention entitled “System and Method for Monitoring and Maintaining a Wireless Device.”

United States Patent No. 7,702,322 issued for an invention entitled “Method and System for Distributing and Updating Software in Wireless Devices.”