Microsoft sues Motorola over Android Patent Infringements

Mcrosoft Corp. today filed a patent infringement action against Motorola, Inc. and issued the following statement from Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing:

“Microsoft filed an action today in the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Motorola, Inc. for infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola’s Android-based smartphones. The patents at issue relate to a range of functionality embodied in Motorola’s Android smartphone devices that are essential to the smartphone user experience, including synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

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.” –link

In a much more detailed note, Corporate VP and Deputy General Counsel, Horacio Gutierrez of Microsoft notes

“People use smartphones for much more as well:  they surf the web, play music and videos, and run apps.  Consumers expect more and more from their smartphones every day, making their phones resemble not so much a phone as a handheld computer.  Of course, for certain apps to run efficiently on handheld devices, they must be notified of changes in signal strength and battery power and the device must manage memory for storing data.  Given the wide range of functionality smartphones offer, they also need to be able to display relevant choices for users efficiently.  Microsoft’s patented technologies tackle all of these challenges.

That Microsoft has important patents in this area should not surprise anyone – we’ve spent over 30 years developing cutting-edge computer software.  As I mentioned in my blog post last March, the key value proposition of smartphones has moved from the radio stack to the software stack, as people buy smartphones because they are fully functional computers that fit in the palm of your hand.  With this shift, it is imperative that companies address IP issues related to the software that makes possible this new class of devices.  The rules of the road are long-established in the software industry, and fundamental to the industry’s growth and economic impact is respect for others’ intellectual property rights.

Our action today merely seeks to ensure respect for our intellectual property rights infringed by Android devices; and judging by the recent actions by Apple and Oracle, we are not alone in this respect.”

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