Motorola Strikes Back, Sues Microsoft For Infringement Of 16 Patents

The Motorola-Microsoft battle has escalated even further. Many of you may have heard about the lawsuit Microsoft filed against Motorola over royalties regarding the use of Motorola’s technology in the Xbox gaming system. And Microsoft sued Motorola earlier this month over the violation of nine trade patents involving smartphones powered by the Android OS. This evening, a subisdiary of Motorola, Motorola Mobility has filed lawsuits in Florida and Wisconsin against Microsoft alleging infringement of sixteen patents by Microsoft’s PC and Server software, Windows mobile software and Xbox products.

According to the release, the Motorola patents involve PC and Server software relate to Windows OS, digital video coding, email technology including Exchange, Messenger and Outlook, Windows Live instant messaging and object oriented software architecture. Motorola’s suite also says that Microsoft is infringing on patents related to Windows Marketplace, Bing maps and object oriented software architecture. The Motorola patents directed to Xbox relate to digital video coding, WiFi technology, and graphical passwords. Those allegations span a tremendous amount of technologies in the Microsoft suite of products, so it’s unclear if Motorola really has grounds here.

Motorola has requested that Microsoft cease using Motorola’s patented technology and “provide compensation” for Microsoft’s past infringement. It’s unclear what sort of compensation Motorola expects from the complaint.

Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, said, in the statement:

“Motorola’s R&D and intellectual property are of great importance to the Company and are renowned worldwide. We are committed to protecting the interests of our shareholders, customers and other stakeholders and are bringing this action against Microsoft in order to halt its infringement of key Motorola patents. Motorola has invested billions of dollars in R&D to create a deep and broad intellectual property portfolio and we will continue to do what is necessary to protect our proprietary technology.”

He also addressed the suits Microsoft has filed against Motorola:

“It is unfortunate…that Microsoft has chosen the litigation path rather than entering into comprehensive licensing negotiations, as Motorola has mutually beneficial licensing relationships with the great majority of technology companies industry-wide.”

It will most probably take an IP attorney to sort through all of these accusations. One thing is for sure—both companies are probably shelling out considerable legal fees over this. Can’t we all just be friends?

UPDATE: Here’s Microsoft’s statement on Motorola’s countersuit:

“We are still reviewing Motorola’s filing, which we just received. This move is typical of the litigation process and we are not surprised. We remain confident in our position and will continue to move forward with the complaints we initiated against Motorola in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and with the International Trade Commission (ITC).” – Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, Microsoft Corporation”