Touche! Motorola Hits Microsoft With Patent Lawsuit

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Motorola's lawsuit Wednesday comes on the heels of a pair of patent lawsuits Microsoft just filed against Motorola. Last month Microsoft charged that Motorola's Android-based smartphones violate nine Microsoft patents covering such functions as e-mail synchronization, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

This week Microsoft sued Motorola for allegedly seeking excessive royalties for wireless and video coding patents used in the Xbox.

Motorola's complaint, filed by subsidiary Motorola Mobility Inc., charges that the Microsoft Windows operating system, Windows Live instant messaging, Microsoft digital video coding and object-oriented software, and the Exchange, Messenger and Outlook applications violate Motorola patents relating to PC and server software.

On the mobile software side the suit charges that Microsoft's Windows Marketplace, Bing Maps and object-oriented software architecture violate Motorola patents, while digital video coding, Wi-Fi capabilities and graphical passwords in the Xbox system also infringe on Motorola patents.

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"Motorola's R&D and intellectual property are of great importance to the company and are renowned worldwide," said Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, in a statement. "We are committed to protecting the interests of our shareholders, customers and other stakeholders and are bringing this action against Microsoft in order to halt its infringement of key Motorola patents. Motorola has invested billions of dollars in R&D to create a deep and broad intellectual property portfolio and we will continue to do what is necessary to protect our proprietary technology."

Referring to Microsoft's lawsuits against Motorola, Dailey called it "unfortunate that Microsoft has chosen the litigation path rather than entering into comprehensive licensing negotiations, as Motorola has mutually beneficial licensing relationships with the great majority of technology companies industry-wide."

The suit was filed in the U.S. district courts for the Southern District of Florida and the Western District of Wisconsin. Microsoft issued a brief statement to CRN regarding Motorola's lawsuit.

"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 at Microsoft, in a statement. "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."