Microsoft-Moto Patent Case Opens With Obligatory Smack Talk
Microsoft’s patent infringement case against Motorola Mobility kicked off before the International Trade Commission in Washington today. And already the two companies are at one another’s necks.
Microsoft, which has accused Motorola Mobility of infringing seven of its patents, is out for blood, seeking an injunction from the ITC that would bar imports of certain of Motorola’s phones. “Microsoft is one of the world’s most innovative companies and we have a responsibility to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders to safeguard our intellectual property,” David Howard, deputy general counsel for litigation at Microsoft, said in a statement given to AllThingsD. “Motorola is infringing our patents and we are confident that the ITC will rule in our favor.”
If it does, that’s bad news not just for Motorola Mobility, but for Google as well. Last week the search giant agreed to pay $12.5 billion for the company in a move it said was intended to protect its Android mobile OS from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, among other companies. So Motorola, too, is posturing, slagging Microsoft as a bully and touting the strength of its own patent arsenal.
“We are vigorously defending ourselves against Microsoft’s patent attack business strategy,” Motorola said in a statement. “We have also brought legal actions of our own in the U.S. and in Europe to address Microsoft’s large scale of infringement of Motorola Mobility’s patents.”
Litigation like this seems a heavy-handed way to hammer out a licensing deal, but realistically that’s what’s likely going on here. We’ll find out if it was successful in late 2011, early 2012. An initial determination in the case is set to be issued in November and a final judgment is expected in March 2012.