Microsoft gets new Mobile head, sues Motorola over Android patent infringements

Microsoft has announced two important things for the mobile world today.

First, Andy Lees will be heading its Mobile Communications Business from now on.

Lees has been with Microsoft for 20 years and will continue to oversee the marketing and product development of Microsoft’s mobile efforts. He was apparently “at the center of the company’s efforts to rebuild the mobile business, including the development of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 to be released this holiday season”.

The other bit of news about Microsoft has gotten the entire blogosphere outraged. Microsoft had the guts to sue Motorola over nine patents supposedly infringed upon by Moto in their Android smartphones. These patents include stuff relating to synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

Now if that is the exact scope of those patents (and their description wasn’t purposefully generalized in the press release), I do think that granting any one company such patents is ridiculous.

However, I’ve been taught that America is the land where you can sue anyone for anything, so let them sue. It’s not like these giant billion-dollar corporations don’t have entire legal departments to deal with these issues. Seriously, don’t worry, the people who actually make the phones and software won’t have to cut development short so they can moonlight as lawyers for Motorola.

And yet again everyone keeps saying that this is indirectly meant as a stab at Android. And I can’t see how. If Motorola is sued, then it means that they are the ones supposedly infringing. I don’t get the whole “indirect” thing and I don’t think it’s a legal term either.

Plus, since Android is open source, and not Google’s property, I don’t think there are many legal grounds to sue Google upon. Whereas phone manufacturers actually sell products that run Android, so that may be another case. Yes, I am saying this without any legal knowledge whatsoever, so please bear with me. It would kind of make sense though, wouldn’t it?

Anyway, another lawsuit in the mobile world. Just an ordinary day.

Via Microsoft (1),(2)

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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  • Staska

    Well, this is exactly a stab at Android. Even if Android is opensource, but is found to be infringing on MSFT patents – anyone who uses Android is liable for damages, and the royalties to MSFT.

    So with all the threats of litigation and potential royalties due, Android doesn’t seem as free anymore. And this may soon become an important factor in the OEM decision process which OS to support. Exactly what MSFT wants.

    Also, there are some indications that MSFT does have strong IP claims over some parts of Android. After all HTC has already licensed Microsoft IP, and now is paying royalties to MSFT on every Android phone they sell.

  • Bill

    no doubt the exchange activesync and fat32 are licensed by everyone, except moto. no surprise here. pay or stop infringing.