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.)
The ITC has been busy this summer, seeing more than a dozen mobile patent cases. Here's more:
- Can We Get Back to Innovation Now?
- HTC Buy Shores Up Patent Defenses
- Handset Makers Air Patent Grievances
- Apple Wins Patent Victory Over HTC
- Patent Conspiracy Theorists
- Google Slams Android Patent Attackers
- Wireless Competition's Courtside Seats
- Apple vs. Android Patent Spat Goes Global
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile