Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Based Smartphones

Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Based Smartphones

What a way to start off Q4! You can't blame Microsoft for not making things interesting, as the company who should be focused on executing a perfect Windows Phone 7 launch is instead focused on getting their lawyers all up in Motorola's business. Microsoft has just filed a patent infringement action against Motorola, with Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, saying the following:

"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."

But here's the strange part. Why Motorola? It seems like the obvious person that they're aiming at is Google, as the suit notes that nine Android-based smartphones are the issue. But we're guessing that this may also have to do with modifications that Motorola has made (BLUR?), and Microsoft is none too pleased. It should be interesting to see how this plays out. This isn't the first time that Android has been at the center of high-profile lawsuits, and judging by this, we doubt it will be the last. Who's next in line? Anyone?

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... so why android only? almost all phones have features such as these...

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>> "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."

Should read: "We've never created anything innovative, ever, and now that our monopoly is is slipping from our grasp we're going to resort to the underhanded legal tactic of suing everyone for the most obvious 'innovations' we could patent after seeing the Apple Newton in 1993."

Anyone who thinks that Motorola and/or Google had to sit down and read Microsoft's patent portfolio in order to design their featureset is deluding themselves.  The fact that the features were developed independently makes them obvious (to a person skilled in the field) and therefore non-patentable.  Unfortunately, our patent office is so broken that they've resorted to rubber-stamping everything.

Microsoft rails against this misuse of patents as bad, when another company owns the patents, then uses them in this hypocritical manner.  I hope Motorola fights MS and has their patents thrown out.  In a perfect world, all software patents (but not copyrights) would be thrown out.

Microsoft obviously has a very premeditated plan of how they're going to scuttle Android through lawsuits and FUD in order to get manufacturers to use their lesser-capable Windows Mobile 7This is a perfect example of how they continue to be harmful to innovation and choice for us consumers.

"The effect of patents and copyright in combatting Linux remains to be investigated." - Internal Microsoft Confidential "Halloween II" memo - 1998

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I hate this kind of Sh*t.

This reminds me of the NEMO movie and the Seagulls. (me,me,me,me,me,me,me,)

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Vital patent reform #1 : No patents granted to mathematical algorithms (software). If Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz could publish their algorithms without patent protection (interference), than so can Microsoft et al. It should prove possible to retrain the lawyers who become unemployed as a result of this reform to perform more useful functions in society, albeit most likely at somewhat lower levels of renumeration than those to which they have become accustomed....

Henri

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Me too (obviously).

I dislike when _any_ company uses legal/business tactics in order to *avoid* fair competition. It retards advancement in the field.

I feel so strongly about it, that it even sometimes puts me in the odd position of being on Microsoft's side, as I was back during our discussions of i4i's lawsuit against them.

Microsoft has been targeting manufacturers of Linux-based devices with these legal measures for a while (ex. TomTom). In fact, they claim to have entered licensing agreements with *600* different companies. Microsoft's new strategy is "If you won't pay us to license our OS, You'll pay us because we'll sue you."

Unfortunately, as long as MS has a bottomless pit of money, and as long as they keep suing companies that don't (note that they've not tried to sue Google or IBM - the biggest guys in the Linux corner, with the tech guys to destroy any MS patents), I'm afraid we'll be seeing more and more of this unless we change the system.

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