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Microsoft Takes Moto Back to Court

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), spooked by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s plans to acquire Motorola Mobility LLC , is stepping up its battle against the handset maker in the courtroom. (See What Google-Moto Means for Microsoft.)

Microsoft took its case to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on Monday, stating that Moto infringed on seven of its patents related to "essential smartphone functions" like email, the calendar, contacts and notifications. The software company also asked the ITC to block sales of the Android-based Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour and Backflip in the U.S.

A Moto Mobility spokeswoman tells Bloomberg that the company is "vigorously defending" itself against Microsoft's "patent attack business strategy," and that it already has brought legal actions of its own in the U.S. and Europe against Microsoft.

Indeed, this is just one of several lawsuits between the two companies, but it is the first to be heard following Android-maker Google's announcement that it will acquire Motorola Mobility. The ITC plans to release their findings on the case Nov. 4 and complete investigation by March 5. (See Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B .)

Why this matters
Google acquired Moto Mobility in large part for patent protection, but it doesn't have its 17,000-deep IP shield yet. Before Android becomes a bigger competitor, Microsoft -- which gets royalties for every Android device sold -- appears intent on eking as much revenue out of the platform as it can. (See Google & Moto: Beyond the Patently Obvious.)

For more
The ITC has been busy this summer, seeing more than a dozen mobile patent cases. Here's more:



— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:55:35 PM
re: Microsoft Takes Moto Back to Court

Microsoft appears to be putting the full-court press on Moto ahead of it being acquired by Google. It's also reminding handset makers that it's the only truly hardware-agnostic OS left.

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 4:55:33 PM
re: Microsoft Takes Moto Back to Court

Sure, if I am a competitor of Nokia's, I really want to partner with MS now on my smart phone OS!?  not.


And more to the point, in terms of true hardware agnostic: which processors does it require to run? Which DSP's are supported, etc.?


I believe that in terms of those metrics, MS is no more hardware agnostic than any of it's competition.


I do agree with your point that MS is trying to, as they say, "put the hammer down" by way of the patent lawsuits and MS superior hoard of cash to fight these kind of battles.  Clear that is their strategy, pound the competition into the ground.  Just like they have done or tried to do with all their other technology.  Such scorched earth policies are standard MO for MS.  


Not sure it will work this time around however.


If the MS mobile OS is so great, why hasn't more people adopted it, vs how fast Android has been adopted?


Again, I agree with your comment regards MS patent strategy.  Just disagree with your assesment of hardware agnostic.


sailboat

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 4:55:33 PM
re: Microsoft Takes Moto Back to Court

Hardware agnostic?  Not sure that is so.  What about the joint venture with Nokia?  And does the MS OS run on all versions of processors, DSP's etc.?


sailboat

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:55:33 PM
re: Microsoft Takes Moto Back to Court

I'm not sure about the processor requirements, but I'm not disagreeing about it's independence or not. I'm just saying that's the message it's trying to send to Android's handset partners in case they're upset about the Moto buy. It put out a statement saying that it doesn't own any hardware like Google now does.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:55:33 PM
re: Microsoft Takes Moto Back to Court

That's just how it is positioning itself. It may be partnered with Nokia but it doesn't own it.

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