Microsoft has been grumbling for months about Google's Android OS infringing on its patents, but this is no ordinary fear, uncertainty and doubt campaign. With its Friday filing of a patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola, Microsoft is showing its willingness to back up these claims.
Microsoft's suit, filed with the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleges that Motorola's Android smartphones infringe on nine of Microsoft's patents, which cover functions such as synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.
As it usually does when talking about its shadowy collection of Linux patents, Microsoft pointed to its obligation to protect its patent portfolio investments.
"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," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, in a statement. "Motorola needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its Android smartphones."
Microsoft in April signed a patent cross-licensing deal with HTC that covers its line of Android devices. Soon after, Microsoft acknowledged that was talking with other device manufacturers about its concerns over patent infringement in their Android smartphones.
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