Microsoft's patent infringement lawsuit versus Motorola over Google Android smartphones is the latest bid to slow Android's roll in the market. Apple sued HTC and Oracle sued Google, both over Android, earlier this year.
When Microsoft filed its patent infringement suit versus Motorola Oct. 1, it
joined Apple and Oracle in their attack against Google's Android operating
system, which has come on strong in the latter half of 2010.
Motorola's Android smartphones violated nine software
patents related to synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts; scheduling
meetings; and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery
Motorola makes the popular Motorola Droid, Droid X and Droid 2 Android
handsets, which leverage Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync for messaging
synchronization, among other popular technologies that stretch back several
A Google spokesperson told eWEEK about the new suit:
"We are disappointed that Microsoft prefers to compete over old patents
rather than new products. Sweeping software patent claims like these threaten
innovation. While we are not a party to this lawsuit, we stand behind the
Android platform and the partners who have helped us to develop it."
Microsoft's suit echoes what Apple did with HTC
back in March. Instead of suing Google to hinder or halt Android, Apple sued
HTC, maker of popular
Android phones such as the Droid Incredible and HTC
Evo 4G. Apple claimed that HTC violated 20
of its patents surrounding the iPhone's interface, architecture and hardware.
Interestingly, Microsoft could have followed Apple in suing HTC,
but it instead struck
an intellectual property deal in which HTC
is paying to use Microsoft smartphone software in its Android handsets.
Clearly, no such deal could be reached with Motorola. Perhaps Microsoft
chose not to pursue one. Why is that?
Land's Greg Sterling suggested
Microsoft is engaging in a bit of old-fashioned payback
for Motorola abandoning the Windows Mobile platform, which is hemorrhaging
Also, Android relies on Linux kernel v2.6 for core system services, and
Microsoft hasn't been shy about its disdain for Linux, or its penchant for
suing over it.