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?