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Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Related Patent Infringement 199

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft has hit up the ITC over a total of nine alleged patent infringements by Motorola in its Android devices, specifically relating to 'synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.' This should be interesting — will it result in a quick cross-licensing agreement, or a protracted court battle spanning multiple years?" The ITC complaint was accompanied by a lawsuit in US District Court. Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez explained the company's reasoning in a blog post.
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Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Related Patent Infringement

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  • Protection Racket (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:24PM (#33764516)

    Wow, one story about how Microsoft says you should develop a Windows 7 phone so that you're safe from patent lawsuits immediately followed by a story about MS suing an Android developer for patent infringement. I think maybe someone in MS PR department needs to read up on the definition of subtlety.

  • Don't Cave in (Score:2, Interesting)

    by IRWolfie- ( 1148617 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:25PM (#33764526)
    I hope Motorola doesn't agree to any settlement like HTC. best for this to go to court to clear android
  • Re:Hmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:25PM (#33764532)
    Microsoft made the promise that anybody licensing Windows 7 for their product would be indemnified, presumably that means against parties other than MS. And also it includes the right to use any MS patents that are included in the release.

    I'm not aware of MS promising not to sue other phone makers using other firmware.
  • Re:Another Example (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:26PM (#33764552) Journal

    Plus it puts today's earlier story [] into some rather sharp perspective...

  • Re:Translation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:31PM (#33764626)

    Exactly. Microsoft is going to be very dangerous in the coming years. Those who can't innovate, litigate and Microsoft has one of the most awesome collections of patents. As they decline, expect some devastating lawsuits.

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:33PM (#33764654) Journal

    There may not be much mobile love between Google and Apple, but I'm quite sure that neither one wants Microsoft to win anything in such a market.

    After all, if Microsoft wins this one, what's to stop them from contriving other overly-broad patents against Apple's iPhone at the first convenient moment?

  • by Frag-A-Muffin ( 5490 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:35PM (#33764672) Homepage

    Hmm .. let's see. HTC, Samsung, LG and Moto make Android phones. HTC, Samsung, and LG also make WinMo (sorry ... WP7) phones as well.

    I can't imagine Moto's differentiating factor between all the other handset manufacturers are the only bits that MS has issue with. (Anyways, isn't it all just skinning on top of Google's Android?!)

    Soooo, this must be a "screw you" for no longer making WinMo phones?

  • by Qubit ( 100461 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:44PM (#33764766) Homepage Journal

    Let's think about this one. A big-shot at Microsoft tries to explain what's going on RE: a patent suit they're bringing against a competitor. Remember: it's a patent suit here.


    People use smartphones for much more as well: they surf the web, play music and videos, and run apps.

    They do a lot of common activities, yes.

    Consumers expect more and more from their smartphones every day, making their phones resemble not so much a phone as a handheld computer.

    So really, their smart phones are acting like ordinary computers, right? So perhaps we could imagine their phones in that same problem space, as they are, according to Mr. Gutierrez, basically computers.

    Of course, for certain apps to run efficiently on handheld devices, they must be notified of changes in signal strength and battery power and the device must manage memory for storing data.

    Of course! I mean, I and the rest of us people with tech backgrounds totally agree with you! Just as in other domains like pagers, heart monitors, etc..., it would make perfect sense that for other small, mobile devices, things like managing power or signal strength would be relevant and important for the end user to know about.

    I mean, any one of us people well-versed in the field of technology would probably come up with something similar to what you did. I mean, "of course" we would!

    Given the wide range of functionality smartphones offer, they also need to be able to display relevant choices for users efficiently. Microsoft’s patented technologies tackle all of these challenges.

    Maybe Microsoft's patents read on some of this technology, but it sure sounds like you're trying to convince us exactly how necessary and obvious the content of these patents are in the context of computers, and I have to ask: Are you trying to win this case, or sink it?

  • Re:Totally called it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:51PM (#33764866) Journal

    I do thank you for that, kind sir.

    However, I don't believe in karma. If such thing existed (the way it's understood in the West, which is the context in which we are speaking), Microsoft would have been bankrupt long ago, along with Monsanto, the RIAA and MPAA companies... and many, many politicians and executives would have had the equivalent happen to them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:11PM (#33765100)

    Words has it Windows 7 is an AT&T exclusive. The iPhone apparently continues to be an AT&T exclusive for the foreseeable future.

    Given the double exclusive BS, the only meaningful competition for MS in the phone space is Apple.

    Given everybody's exclusive agreements with everybody else, I wonder when the FTC will feel the need to step in.

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:17PM (#33765162)
    This smells like a desperation move of someone who tries to solve every problem with marketing. Buy our products because they are better? Nope, buy them out of fear. Stupid. My guess is ballmer is in the process of being forced out of microsoft.
  • Re:Another Example (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Barefoot Monkey ( 1657313 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:29PM (#33765308)

    Indeed it does. It appears that they are using this tactic:

    • Indemnify own licensees against patent lawsuits
    • Sue everyone else
    • Spread the word that "nobody gets sued for using Microsoft"

    and collecting license fees from phone makers in the process

  • by jimmyfrank ( 1106681 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:31PM (#33765340)
    Right? I mean, hey, lets write a calendar app for a mobile phone... but wait... how on earth will we get the information on the calendar app to show up on our app that runs on our desktop. Some how we'll send data back and forth, ZOMFG PATENT INFRINGEMENT PATENT INFRINGEMENT PATENT INFRINGEMENT...sad...
  • by beakerMeep ( 716990 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @08:03PM (#33766738)

    Another nitpick: those are estimates and they show great shakeup in the market. While Nokia was down 40% in profit, HTC was up 33%. Apple does indeed make a boatload of cash but Android is what is currently shaking up the market.

    Back on topic though I wonder why MS isn't suing themselves, since they seem so keen on paying Verizon money to put Bing on Android.

  • by HannethCom ( 585323 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @08:30PM (#33766922)
    Word, Office, Excel, Outlook, Access, Powerpoint, DOS, BASIC, Internet Explorer, Visual Studio, SourceSafe, Windows NT, NTFS.

    What do all the above and and many more have in common? None of them were originally developed by Microsoft. Most were acquired by buying other companies. Some, like IE(Core rendering engine was Spyglass Mosaic) Windows NT(Core OS was the same as OS/2 developed by IBM) and NTFS (slight modification of HPFS from IBM), were acquired in licensing deals where Microsoft was not always honest about their intentions.

    No, BASIC was not created by Microsoft, it existed before Microsoft did, but the company that created it was bought out really early on by Microsoft. Any technology that was invented by a company that Microsoft buys out they claim as their own invention as they now own the company and usually the people that created the technology.

    That being said, they did create Win16 and Win32. ADO was a really good idea that they got right the first time, then messed up up, then fixed it, messed it up again and I think have finally fixed it. Works I believe is completely Microsoft. DirectX was a Microsoft project that Microsoft was against originally.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"