Microsoft accuses Motorola of 7 patent infringements in its Android phones

Calls for import ban in US

Microsoft accuses Motorola of 7 patent infringements in its Android phones
Given Motorola's patent library was likely the main trigger behind Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of the company, it's ironic the manufacturer finds itself in the courts fighting off claims it's infringed Microsoft's patents.

The claim, which is being heard in front of the International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, alleges Motorola has violated a total of seven Microsoft patents with its Android handsets.

These include features such as ways to synchronise email, calendars and contacts, schedule meetings, and notify applications about changes in signal strength and battery power.

If found guilty, imports of Motorola's devices could be blocked in the US – a ruling that would severely impact the firm's weakening grip on the Android platform in the wake of growth by Samsung, HTC and LG.

Patent power

"We have a responsibility to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders to safeguard our intellectual property," said Microsoft's corporate VP and deputy counsel for litigation David Howard.

"Motorola is infringing our patents and we are confident that the ITC will rule in our favour."

As is usually the case, Motorola has responded both by claiming it is "vigorously defending" itself against Microsoft's challenge, and by launching a legal measure or two of its own.

"We have also brought legal actions of our own in the US and in Europe to address Microsoft’s large scale of infringement of Motorola Mobility’s patents," countered Motorola spokesperson Jennifer Erickson.

Microsoft is looking to ban the importation of Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Backflip and Charm phones, with the investigation set to be completed by March 5, 2012.

Motorola is already involved in a legal tussle with Apple in the US over more than 40 separate patents. Apple also began action against the sale of the firm's Xoom tablet in Germany earlier in August.

[source: Bloomberg]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.