Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

Summary: On November 9, Microsoft filed its second patent suit in less than two months against Motorola. On November 10, Motorola fired back with its own patent suit against Microsoft.

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On November 9, Microsoft filed its second patent suit in less than two months against Motorola. On November 10, Motorola fired back with its own patent suit against Microsoft.

Motorola subsidiary Motorola Mobility filed complaints against Microsoft in U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Florida and the Western District of Wisconsin, claiming infringement of 16 of its patents by Microsoft's PC and server software, Windows Mobile and Xbox products.

From Motorola's November 10 press release:

"The Motorola patents directed to PC and Server software relate to Windows OS, digital video coding, email technology including Exchange, Messenger and Outlook, Windows Live instant messaging and object oriented software architecture. The Motorola patents directed to Windows mobile software relate to Windows Marketplace, Bing maps and object oriented software architecture. The Motorola patents directed to Xbox relate to digital video coding, WiFi technology, and graphical passwords. Motorola Mobility has requested that Microsoft cease using Motorola's patented technology and provide compensation for Microsoft's past infringement."

Microsoft sued Motorola on October 1 over alleged infringement of Motorola's Android smartphones on Microsoft's patents. On November 9, Microsoft sued Motorola again over wireless and video coding patents that are used by the Xbox and smartphones. In the latter case, Microsoft claimed that Motorola is charging excessive royalties for its patents.

I asked Microsoft officials if they have any statement on the new Motorola patent suit. Here's the reply:

“We are still reviewing Motorola’s filing, which we just received," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing. "This move is typical of the litigation process and we are not surprised. We remain confident in our position and will continue to move forward with the complaints we initiated against Motorola in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and with the International Trade Commission (ITC).”

Update: Patent expert Florian Mueller has a list of the patents over which Motorola is suing Microsoft.

Topics: Windows, Legal, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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31 comments
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  • Winners

    And the winners are?

    The lawyers.
    chriswalshie
    • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

      @chriswalshie <br>and Microsoft.<br><br>That's what you get for using software without patent's protection.<br><br>I wouldn't be surprise that Android infringe tons of patents and the same is probably true of Windows Phone 7. The different is that Microsoft provide patent protection. That is, if Windows Phone 7 does infringe some patents, it's Microsoft not OEMs that gets drag to court.
      illegaloperation
      • Microsoft is like the mafia

        This is just a protection money racket.

        Microsoft claims it owns patents over syncing email, and contextual menus. It is completely frivolous stuff.

        Microsoft has only 2 aims: To make the OEMs pay protection money, or to force them to make Windows Phones (at the moment Motorola has no interest in getting on board Microsoft's failed mobile bandwagon).
        Vbitrate
      • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

        @gyepera

        You got that right. It's interesting that Motorola is the only major phone manufacturer to "JUST SAY NO TO WIN PHONE 7" and the only one to get sued.....
        itguy08
      • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

        @day2die

        The industry was doing just fine before software patents were fully enabled in 1998. While it doesn't appear that software patents will disappear in the USA anytime soon, one thing that all parties agree on (including Microsoft) is that business method patents need to go and that pure patent trolls are abusing the system making everything artificially more expensive.
        DonRupertBitByte
      • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

        you provide a source saying Google purchased a<a href="http://www.bsoleb.org/"><font color="light&amp;height"> ATV </font></a> from youth to <a href="http://www.methkillswyoming.org/"><font color="light&amp;height">kill</font></a> somebody that you <a href="http://www.careerteampartners.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">career</font></a> from any company <a href="http://www.landrac.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">website</font></a> is the best <a href="http://www.bueydecabeza.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">buy</font></a> if you license
        gorians
    • Hopefully us in the long run!

      @chriswalshie
      I hope a judge decides that the disputed technologies are so common and have so much contribution from multiple sources that it is not possible for one company to have an exclusive right to them. More competition and lower prices, I say.
      Auna
    • And where did Microsoft "learn" to use the law as an attack dog?

      Bill Gates, father of the Microsoft founder, has been involved in "unsavory" things for a long time. (Jack Abramoff, the notorious lobbyist, was one of his firms firm's biggest stars.)

      IMO, Bill Gates learned to fight dirty at his father's feet, as a child. And he's been fighting dirty ever since.
      Rick S._z
      • They're a dirty monopoly

        They've managed scare the OEMs into keeping Linux off the radar for quite awhile now. Nothing new, there.
        ahh so
    • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

      @chriswalshie The only problem is that what Microsoft an other software companies want to replace it with, patent protection systems which protect there stuff but not new entrants into the market an make it much more expensive to obtain patents.
      Knowles2
  • Good to see Motorola put up a fight against Microsoft

    Microsoft has been going around suing companies that use open-source software.

    Microsoft sued TomTom (for using Linux). It sued HTC, Motorola, Asus and Acer for using Android. It was even financing SCO's suit against Linux vendors.

    It's good to see Motorola now put up a fight against these frivolous Microsoft lawsuits, rather than rolling over and paying Microsoft its demanded fee.
    Vbitrate
    • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

      @gyepera
      Microsoft, HTC, Motorola, etc. all have the right to protect their patents and if that means dragging things to court, so be it.
      illegaloperation
      • Well then they'll just have to build a bigger legal department

        ...and have M$ be fully controlled by lawyers. Let their dry rot, begin!
        ahh so
    • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

      @gyepera [i]Microsoft sued TomTom (for using Linux). It sued HTC, Motorola, Asus and Acer for using Android. It was even financing SCO's suit against Linux vendors.[/i]
      They didn't sue because they were using Linux actually, they sued for using a version of FAT. As for funding SCO's suit against Linux vendors, you should do some research. Microsoft sold what is now SCO the code for Xenix, which was a UNIX like OS Microsoft developed before Windows. Yes, that is correct, Microsoft was a UNIX developer before they went to Windows, and yes, they contributed code that ended up in Linux. Most of that code has been removed, or just isn't used by most modern distros, but that code does still exist in some.
      ShadowGIATL
      • MS sued TomTom for use of the FAT file system

        @ShadowGIATL Contrary to popular believe, TomTom was sued for using the FAT file system. Linux was just the OS they used to access the data.

        On Android side, unfortunately for all Android distributors, Google itself validated 100% of MS claims when it purchased a license to cover the NexusOne. That single fact makes it virtually impossible for any OEM (that distributes the Android OS) to defend themselves ....
        wackoae
      • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

        @wackoae
        Can you provide a source saying Google purchased a license (and for what)? I was not able to validate your claim.
        kirovs
      • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

        @wackoae
        You been smoking wacky tobaccy again wackoae! Here's the license Google paid for from Microsoft. It has nothing to do with Linux, except for MS's "Active Sync" for Android!
        http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/feb09/02-09statement.mspx
        i2fun
    • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

      @gyepera <br><br>Wrong, Microsoft sued TomTom for using FAT not Linux.<br>As far as I know they both settled.
      live.tiles
  • Sad to see such massive desperation gushing out of motorola from every pore

    What a laughable shotgun money sink this will be for them. Their board must be going ballistic at this inept, incompetent, fiduciary irresponsibility from their officers. They had better step up and make some heads roll before this takes their stock price back into the $4 per share range. The facts are not on their side. The rise of WP from HTC, Samsung, LG, Dell, Sony Ericsson, etc. has clearly got them in a panic. The thing to do when great opportunities come along is figure out how to participate. Clearly they could be a leader and make a ton of cash in the process if they built some windows phones. Put your brain dead heads out of your *sses moto. You are on course to repeat all your post razor mistakes and throw all your hard earned market share away.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Motorola retaliates with new patent suits against Microsoft

      @Johnny Vegas <br><br>I understand that it's your job to post such comments, but c'mon...! You can't be THAT obvious.<br><br>Regarding WP: <b>Nobody wants to buy phones with Windows Phone</b>. Windows Phone is inferior when compared to Android, wich runs on top of Linux. Imagine that: the kernel that powers virtually every supercomputer on earth is powering your Android phone. Imagine the possibilities.<br><br>By contrast Windows Phone is the son of Windows Mobile/Windows CE. Long time ago MS could sell crap like CE. People know better nowadays, thankgod.<br><br>MS is making a few phones because most companies don't want a court battle. If only one of the big guns aim for MS, MS will have to retreat, or risk loosing their [shaky] software patents.<br><br>Mark my words: this will be settled off court and the terms will never be disclosed (because MS will prefer to pay Motorola a few millions more than to admit defeat in a patent case).
      nuno2