Microsoft sues Motorola Mobility, bringing patent fight to UK

Microsoft is suing smartphone maker Motorola Mobility for undisclosed reasons. But £20 of Her Majesty's best says it has something to do with Android patents.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Microsoft late last year filed a lawsuit against smartphone maker Motorola Mobility at the High Court in London.

The court papers were filed on December 23rd, but do not outline the cause of Microsoft's claim. Neither company has so far issued a statement to detail the nature of the lawsuit.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the litigation, but declined to comment on the matter.


Unlike the United States where court documents are immediately in the public domain, it can take around two weeks -- if not longer -- for court papers to be made available to the general public.

The defendant -- in this case, Motorola Mobility -- must serve their 'acknowledgement of service' documents within 14 days of the plaintiff's complaint made to the court, a legal expert told ZDNet.

However, Microsoft filed the suit only three days after the U.S. International Trade Commission preliminarily ruled in its favour, after the software giant claimed devices running the Android mobile operating system infringed its patents.

Microsoft had been seeking to prove that Motorola Mobility infringed seven of its mobile patents, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported.

A final decision by an U.S. ITC judge is expected later this year.

Motorola Mobility is close to being bought by Google, which put forward plans last year to buy the company for $12.5 billion.

The U.S. Department of Justice has yet to make any formal or public comment on the acquisition. But the European Commission's antitrust regulators have suspended its merger review as it seeks further information about the deal before it can proceed.

The regulators, which Google needs approval from to close the acquisition deal, also invited competitors and "interested third parties" to submit comments and observations on what it should do next. This move allows rivals to openly object to the deal, in what could be an anti-competitive matter.

But shares in Google fell nearly 4 percent at market close yesterday after poor expected financial results reflected on the company's bid to acquire the smartphone maker.

Google will be able to benefit in future patent litigation, as the search giant will acquire one of the largest patent portfolios in the telecommunications industry.

Motorola did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Image source: Flickr.


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