Microsoft announced today that they're going after Motorola for patent infringement. Specifically, nine patents that Microsoft says Motorola's Android smartphones infringe on. Given that Microsoft's already gotten HTC to roll over based on similar claims, this could get very interesting.
Of course, everybody's always suing everybody in the mobile business, so in some ways this is nothing new. And there's a decent chance that Motorola will follow HTC's path of least resistance by paying Microsoft off with a heavy licensing fee.
But the particular scope of Microsoft's complaint is vast, and seems that it would apply not just to Motorola but to any manufacturer with an Android offering. From today's complaint:
"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... Motorola needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its Android smartphones."
That's from Microsoft lawyer Horacio Gutierrez, who's already gone on record supporting Apple's HTC lawsuit, at the same time suggesting it was the beginning of an increasingly litigious mobile environment. So whether this individual battle gets resolved soon or not, it's likely that Motorola's just one more stop on an ongoing warpath. [Microsoft]