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Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Related Patents

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Related Patents

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.

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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.

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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]

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DISCUSSION

So, why can't Motorola just have Google fight back and claim independent research? Seriously, battery notifications for apps? You can even patent that?

I could understand the patent holding up if it were Microsoft's code or libraries being used, but if the concept of a simple data transfer for a sensor is patentable, I think the US patent office should just shut down. There's a reason things like this shouldn't be patentable.