Microsoft is going to be unleashing Windows Phone 7 this month, but in the mean time they'll be going after one of their competitors in a bit of a different fashion. The company has announced that they are suing Motorola for infringing nine patents on their Android devices. The Microsoft patents in question pertain to "synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power." Motorola hasn't commented on the suit. The full press release can be seen below.
Companies suing one another is a pretty common occurrence in the mobile industry, and often they end quickly with cross-licensing agreements. While there's no way of knowing exactly how the suit will end up, I have a feeling that we won't be seeing any sort of long, drawn-out court battle. The most interesting part of the suit is how broad Microsoft's patents are; if I were an Android manufacturer, I'd be a little nervous that Microsoft could be coming after me next.
Microsoft Files Patent Infringement Action Against Motorola
REDMOND, Wash. – Oct. 1, 2010 – Microsoft Corp. today filed a patent infringement action against Motorola, Inc. and issued the following statement from Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing:
"Microsoft filed an action today in the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Motorola, Inc. for infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola's Android-based smartphones. The patents at issue relate to a range of functionality embodied in Motorola's Android smartphone devices that are essential to the smartphone user experience, including synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.
We have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year in bringing innovative software products and services to market. Motorola needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its Android smartphones."