Microsoft Alleges That Motorola's Android Smart Phones Infringe Its Patents

October 1, 2010. Microsoft filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court (WDWash) against Motorola alleging infringement of nine patents that it states are related to smart phone technology. Microsoft filed a related Section 337 complaint (19 U.S.C. § 1337) with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to prevent importation of allegedly infringing devices.

Microsoft did not name as a defendant Google, which developed the Android operating system.

The complaint alleges that "Motorola is engaged in the design, manufacture, importation into the United States, and sale after importation of smartphones and associated software applications and services. Motorola markets and sells these products worldwide through its channel business partners, telecom service providers, and various retail companies, both at retail stores and through company websites."

Microsoft is the assignee of, and alleges infringement of, the following U.S. Patents:

Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez stated in a release that this action is "for infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola's Android-based smartphones. 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."

He stated in a second release that "That Microsoft has important patents in this area should not surprise anyone -- we've spent over 30 years developing cutting-edge computer software."

He added that "Our action today merely seeks to ensure respect for our intellectual property rights infringed by Android devices; and judging by the recent actions by Apple and Oracle, we are not alone in this respect."

For more on Apple v. HTC, see story titled "Apple Sues HTC for Patent Infringement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,055, March 4, 2010.

For more on Oracle v. Google, see story titled "Oracle Files Patent Infringement Complaint Against Google" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2123, August 11, 2010.

Microsoft has not yet released the next version of its mobile phone operating system, Windows Phone 7.

This case is Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, D.C. No. 2 :10-cv-01577.