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.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):