Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Microsoft sues Motorola for allegedly violating patents on Android phones

Microsoft said Friday it has filed a lawsuit against Motorola for allegedly infringing on nine patents to produce Motorola's Android smart phones.

The software giant said in a press release that the patents are related "to a range of functionality embodied Motorola's Android software smartphone devices" that help synchronize e-mail, calendars and contact, schedule meetings and notify applications that show signal strength and battery power levels.

Motorola said in a statement that it hasn't received the lawsuit (pdfmsft-motocomplaint.pdf). "Motorola has a leading intellectual property portfolio, one of the strongest in the industry. The company will vigorously defend itself in this matter," it said.

The suits underscore the intense competition among software manufacturers and device makers in the exploding smart phone market. More people are browsing the Web over smart phones than regular feature phones, according to a new survey released Friday by Comscore. Microsoft has struggled to gain share as Google's Android software, RIM's Blackberry and Apple's iPhone operating systems lead the market.

Microsoft said its suits were filed with the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington state.

"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,” Microsoft said in a release.

Microsoft's moves follow similar legal offensives over alleged smart phone patent infringements.

Earlier this week, Apple sued Nokia in Britain, extending a back and forth legal battle between the companies on smart phone software.

In March, Apple sued Taiwan-based HTC, the manufacturer of such Android phones as the HTC Hero and Google's Nexus One (since taken off the market), alleging that it had infringed 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.

By Cecilia Kang  | October 1, 2010; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Microsoft  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Internet piracy debate intensifies on Senate bill
Next: EZ Texting, T-Mobile settle text blocking suit

Comments

Software should not be allowed to be patented. It is too much of an "idea" that is quite often very general in nature. It is not a specific "thing" like a machine.

Posted by: gmclain | October 1, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

How interesting that the company which complained about being persecuted when it integrated a web browser with it operating system is now so eager to go to court to defend its "intellectual property."

It all depends on whose ox is being gored.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | October 1, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Microsoft has gone back to what it knows best ... being in court.

Posted by: cirrus_nine | October 1, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

So Microsoft, Apple and Oracle are independently(?) suing google and its partners, who are providing competition and possibly a better product? Wow! Glad it's only coincidence.

Posted by: southVAHmptn | October 1, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

As for the idea that software should not be allowed to be patented, what, pray tell would the incentive be for authoring any software at all? Why would I work hard to create SW that anyone can use with no compensation to me? Dumb idea.

Posted by: chopin224 | October 1, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Software certainly is an idea. Of how to do something, just like an invention. If you can figure out how to do something differently, that becomes popular, you deserve to be paid for it, just like a song, or an invention, or a book. They are all ideas.

The statement about more folks browsing on smart phones rather than regular cell phones is a fairly "duh" thing to say. They are designed for browsing, downloading faster, etc. Regular cell phones just have the ability to browse. No one says it is going to be a very good experience, and it isn't.

Posted by: tojo45 | October 1, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"As for the idea that software should not be allowed to be patented, what, pray tell would the incentive be for authoring any software at all? Why would I work hard to create SW that anyone can use with no compensation to me? Dumb idea."

This commentor is confused. Software is protected by copyright, whether or not it is covered by a patent. The software author has exactly the same protection as a book author.

Posted by: wtyler | October 1, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"As for the idea that software should not be allowed to be patented, what, pray tell would the incentive be for authoring any software at all? Why would I work hard to create SW that anyone can use with no compensation to me? Dumb idea."
Posted by: chopin224

That dumb idea is behind the Linux operating system, which is quickly replacing Windows and UNIX server operating systems, is behind the Apache web server that this web site is probably using, is behind the Wikipedia wiki software and is behind the MySQL database software which has been compared in power to Oracle. All of this software is available for free and maintained without cost to those who use it. Its a dumb idea for making millions, but software gets written that otherwise would not, by people who have the need and share the work openly. And when a bug is found it is usually quickly fixed because the customers of the software are also the developers, unlike Microsoft and others, who really don't care much if a bug is found ... just purchase the software update in the next version in a year and it might be fixed, by those who have incentive to write software for others for a profit.

Posted by: Fate1 | October 1, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company