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Summary:

Microsoft has legally declared its belief that Android uses technology covered by Microsoft’s intellectual property by suing Motorola for patent infringement. Motorola is one of the top sellers of Android phones, and the suit sends a clear message to Android phone makers.

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Microsoft has legally declared its belief that Android uses technology covered by Microsoft’s intellectual property by suing Motorola for patent infringement. Motorola is one of the top sellers of Android phones, and the suit by the folks in Redmond sends a clear message to Android phone makers. Previously, Microsoft had entered into a licensing agreement with HTC to allow its IP to be used in Android phones by that company. No financial details were provided about the HTC/ Microsoft licensing deal.

Horacio Gutierrez, general counsel for Microsoft, indicates that the IP in contention covers the handling of email from multiple services, interacting with a server-based calendar on a phone, device memory management and detecting/ setting battery level and phone signal strength. This covers a broad base of smartphone functions, so Microsoft believes its patents cover a wide spectrum of uses of Android phones.

HTC is looking to be prudent by licensing Microsoft’s technology, which both companies have indicated gives HTC blanket protection for its Android product line. It’s not known if Microsoft conducted any licensing discussions with Motorola prior to the suit. Other Android handset makers should be prepared for similar legal action, especially Samsung with its popular Galaxy S line of products.

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  1. This is dirty, thuggish behavior from Microsoft.

    Notice that Microsoft has left alone Android handset makers LG, HTC and Samsung, as these OEMs also have Windows Phone 7 licenses.

    Instead it is going for the jugular of any Android handset maker that does not have a WP7 license, such as Motorola.

    It’s hush money. It’s like the mafia. And it stinks.

    The Microsoft thug of yesteryear is rearing its ugly head again. You will see an immediate anti-Microsoft backlash from the public.

    Microsoft’s brute behavior will backfire on its public image, and hamper its ability to sell Windows Phones.

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    1. Actually, in April HTC licensed these patents from MS for an undisclosed price. HTC apparently saw something that made them believe they needed proper access to the IP. MS likely hasn’t gotten around to the other companies you mentioned, but I believe they will.

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      1. Partha srinivasan Saturday, October 2, 2010

        I completely agree with josh’s comments. Usually comps get sued in bulk these days. So absence of others may very well mean either they signed up to make wp7 devices or ms is In the process of threatening (sorry negotiating) to make their phones or get sued. What a great strategy!

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    2. So Microsoft is thuggish, but Motorola is free to infringe the other people? You do know that if you don’t defend your patents, they become worthless? Take off the blinkers, you’ll see more :-)

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