updated 09:40 pm EST, Wed November 10, 2010
Motorola sues Microsoft in patent war
Motorola tonight filed a lawsuit in retaliation for Microsoft's own lawsuit over Xbox 360 patent royalties. The new complaint alleges that Microsoft is violating 16 patents and is now targeting Windows and Microsoft's mobile platforms in addition to the Xbox-related H.264 video, Wi-Fi and password patents that prompted Microsoft's concerns. The Windows patent claims are the most direct and assert that the OS itself as well as Exchange, Outlook Windows Live Messenger and object-oriented code.
The mobile dispute doesn't distinguish between Windows Mobile and Windows Phone but primarily focuses on the latter, bringing Bing maps and Windows Marketplace into scrutiny along with object-oriented code much like that of the desktop Windows patent fight.
Motorola, which is using its phone-oriented Mobility group to file the lawsuit, is asking both for Microsoft to stop infringing on the patents and to pay an unspecified amount in compensation.
Despite having come just after the Xbox lawsuit, the new Motorola legal action is understood to be in retaliation for Microsoft's anti-Android lawsuit. Microsoft has claimed to own multiple patents that are used by Android and, without having had them verified in court, has been trying to pressure every Android phone designer into paying royalties to make money. HTC has already reached a deal in part because of its continued support of Windows Phone, but Motorola's decision to focus entirely on Android for the near future may have played a role in the two opponents turning to lawsuits.
The new lawsuit could lead to major ramifications for Microsoft if successful, but most such lawsuits reach a settlement as few are willing to risk a full product ban.