The Patent Wars show no signs of abating, and Microsoft and Motorola are the latest big names to throw patent-based punches.
Microsoft reckons Motorola’s Android phones – including the Droid (Milestone) 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Backflip and Charm – infringe on seven of its patents, but Motorola says Microsoft infringes on some of its 17,000 patents. Sigh.
“We have a responsibility to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders to safeguard our intellectual property,” says David Howard, Microsoft’s corporate VP and deputy general counsel for litigation. “Motorola is infringing our patents and we are confident that the ITC will rule in our favor.”
The trial reportedly focuses on functions “essential to the smartphone experience” (Microsoft’s words), such as methods of: synchronising email, calendars and contacts; scheduling meetings; and notifying apps of changes in signal strength and battery juice.
Ultimately Microsoft is asking the ITC to block imports of the aforementioned Android phones. Judge Theodore Essex aims to release his findings on November 4, and the investigation should be wrapped up by March 5.
But Motorola isn’t taking it lying down. Spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said: “We have also brought legal actions of our own in the U.S. and in Europe to address Microsoft’s large scale of infringement of Motorola Mobility’s patents.”
HTC already pays Microsoft $5 for every Android handset sold. Indeed, Microsoft appears to make more money from HTC than it does from Windows Phone 7 licenses.