Microsoft Sues TomTom Over Patent Infringements

Microsoft on Wednesday filed suit in the U.S. District Court Western District in Seattle alleging that TomTom infringed on eight Microsoft patents, according to court documents available online from the TechFlash subsidiary of the Puget Sound Business Journal, of Seattle.

Those patents, which date from between 1996 and 2006, cover technology for generating driving directions, vehicle-based computers, portable storage devices and erasable memory.

Microsoft is asking the court for compensatory damages for each of the patents at least equaling lost royalty payments, as well as treble damages and court costs from TomTom.

Microsoft on Wednesday also filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, D.C., asking that the organization investigate the importation of TomTom devices in light of the alleged patent infringement and issue a permanent cease and desist order prohibiting TomTom from importing and selling its products in the U.S.

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In a statement, Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft, wrote that his company has tried for a year to discuss the issues with TomTom.

"In situations such as this, when a reasonable business agreement cannot be reached, we have no choice but to pursue legal action to protect our innovations and our partners who license them. Other companies that utilize Microsoft patents have licensed and we are asking TomTom to do the same. TomTom is a highly respected and important company. We remain open to quickly resolving this situation with them through an IP licensing agreement," Gutierrez wrote.