Microsoft Sues Motorola For Patent Infringement… Over Android
from the well,-here-we-go... dept
Just as Microsoft is out there trying to make bad patents easier to invalidate, it’s still acting like a big patent bully itself. Remember a few months back when it got HTC to license some patents, which Microsoft claimed covered Google’s Android mobile operating system? Well, apparently, Motorola wasn’t willing to do any sort of deal like that, so Microsoft has sued Motorola. Microsoft itself was kind enough to send us the press release, which is full of some pretty ridiculous statements from Microsoft’s Horacio Gutierrez (with whom I rarely agree on anything):
“We have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year in bringing innovative software products and services to market.”
Really? Please explain how suing some other company helps your customers? Amusingly, on Microsoft’s own blog post about the lawsuit, nearly all of the comments are trashing Microsoft for litigating rather than innovating.
And, of course, to be extra obnoxious, rather than just suing, Microsoft is using the ITC loophole to get two cracks and forcing Motorola to pay.
As for which patents are being claimed here, Gutierrez in the blog post and in the press release makes some crazy statements implying that the only way to do synchronized email, calendars and contacts, or to notify apps of battery power is to violate Microsoft’s patents. Below is the list of patents that Microsoft is suing over. It’s hard to pick out which one is the most ridiculous:
- 5,579,517: Common name space for long and short filenames
- 5,758,352: Common name space for long and short filenames (yes, again)
- 6,621,746: Monitoring entropic conditions of a flash memory device as an indicator for invoking erasure operations
- 6,826,762: Radio interface layer in a cell phone with a set of APIs having a hardware-independent proxy layer and a hardware-specific driver layer
- 6,909,910: Method and system for managing changes to a contact database
- 7,644,376: Flexible architecture for notifying applications of state changes
- 5,664,133: Context sensitive menu system/menu behavior
- 6,578,054: Method and system for supporting off-line mode of operation and synchronization using resource state information
- 6,370,566: Generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device
Looking over a bunch of those, you have to think that Microsoft is praying that this case gets settled/decided before it possibly gets the Supreme Court to weigh in on more easily invalidating ridiculously bad patents. That last one is a favorite of mine. Just like we always make fun of patents that are basically “just add internet,” this one certainly looks like “just add mobile.” In the meantime, it’s pretty amusing that Microsoft still won’t just come out and sue Google over these patents. It seems to know that Google would actually hit back hard.