Excerpt from voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech

Excerpt from voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech

Microsoft sues Motorola over patents Cecilia Kang
Saturday, October 2, 2010

Microsoft said Friday that it has filed a lawsuit against Motorola for allegedly infringing on nine patents to produce Motorola's Android smartphones.

The software giant said in a news release that the patents are related "to a range of functionality embodied in Motorola's Android software smartphone devices" that helps to synchronize e-mail, calendars and contacts; schedule meetings; and show signal strength and battery power levels.

Motorola said in a statement that it hadn't received the lawsuit but added: "Motorola has a leading intellectual property portfolio, one of the strongest in the industry. The company will vigorously defend itself."

The lawsuit underscores the intense competition among software manufacturers and device makers in the rapidly growing smartphone market. More people are browsing the Web via smartphones than regular feature phones, according to a survey released Friday by ComScore. Microsoft has struggled as Google's Android software, RIM's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone operating systems lead the market.

Microsoft's complaint was filed with the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington state. "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," Microsoft said in a release.

Microsoft's move follows similar legal offensives over alleged smartphone patent infringements. This week, Apple sued Nokia in Britain, extending a back-and-forth legal battle between the companies on smartphone software. In March, Apple sued Taiwan-based HTC, the manufacturer of such Android phones as the HTC Hero and Google's Nexus One (which has been taken off the market), alleging that it had infringed on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.

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