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Microsoft sues Motorola over Android-related patents

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Fri October 1, 2010

Microsoft claims Moto Android phones use patents

Microsoft today sued Motorola for allegedly violating patents with its Android-based phones. The complaints with both the International Trade Commission and in a Western District of Washington court claim that the devices copy technology "essential" to the smartphone experience, such as calendars and contacts, e-mail sync and notifications for apps of battery and connection levels. The accusations didn't initially include any damage values, but an ITC investigation would lead to a ban on Motorola phones in the US if successful.

Motorola has said it plans to "vigorously defend" against the lawsuit and pointed to the strength of its own patent library as support.

The strategy follows a similar dispute with HTC and repeats a strategy Microsoft has been using against Linux operating systems in an attempt to subdue competition. The Windows developer has always insisted it has multiple patents that cover Linux and has made a number of licensing deals with companies such as Amazon and Novell, usually under the implied threat of a lawsuit if they don't agree to the terms.

So far, Microsoft hasn't had the validity of its Android claims directly challenged in court but may have this challenged by Motorola. Observers have suspected a deal was made with HTC both to profit from its switch to Android as well as to keep it in line and producing Windows Phone devices. Windows Mobile has seen nearly half of its market share disappear in the past year due to Android and the iPhone, and the Motorola Droid remains the most popular Android phone after nearly a year of being on the market.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Pilsner6910

    Joined: Dec 1969



    typical MS strategy...doesnt surprise me at all

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969



    MICROSOFT is suing for patent violation? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  1. redcapzero

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "they" (must) be des-per-ate.

    Lovin' it.

  1. cvbcvb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't think it's desperate

    Considering Apple is also suing HTC/Android for patent violations, I don't think you'd call Apple desperate. As Steve Jobs said:

    "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

    Sounds similar to Microsoft's reasoning...


  1. chas_m



    **IF** MS has a real case ...

    ... then I'm behind them. For the same reasons (and with the same caveats) I'm behind Apple on their suit.

    MS has tended to use the threat of lawsuits as blackmail, however, much more so than Apple, and so I'm not as quick to come to their defense. Hopefully we'll see what they really have -- or don't -- in court.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The bloated sack starts to fade away.

    - A

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Patent lovers rejoice

    The patent system is supposed to help innovation by making it profitable - but instead it kills innovation.

    The early patent holders were Microsoft and Palm and Nokia.

    I suppose that is the trio that should still own the market for the next 25 years.

    Oh joy.

    The fact is, these patents are on obvious things, that would have been invented, even without the 'protection' of the patent system. We've forgotten what the purpose of the patent system even was, and are just on this bizarre journey of sue and countersue.

    Remember both Apple and Microsoft have lost multi-million dollar patent lawsuits, all the while going to Congress and asking to keep the system in place. Why? Because the system kills innovation and only the largest players can survive it.

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