Today Microsoft filed a complaint that Motorola’s Android-based phones violate nine Microsoft patents covering the synchronization of email, calendars and contacts, scheduling of meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.
Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, explained Microsoft’s legal actions in a blog post citing 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.”
SeattlePI reported that Motorola, which is well invested into the Android platform and is in the midst of splitting to establish a standalone cell phone business, hasn’t yet received a copy of the complaint and is not willing to comment at the moment. Jennifer Erickson, Motorola’s chief communications officer, stated that “[t]he company will vigorously defend itself in this matter.”
This is not the first lawsuit to be made against companies using the Android smart phone platform. In March, Apple filed complaints against HTC and its Android-based phones, alleging the company violated 20 of its patents. And in August, Oracle sued Google itself over the use of the Java platform in Android.
Microsoft is possibly trying to bolster its position in the smart phone market after the major fumble that was the Kin and the mass data loss after acquiring Danger, creators of the Sidekick messaging software. They certainly hope Windows Phone 7 will be able to catch up with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform.