PATENTS BOUGHT BY Google along with Motorola to beat off lawsuits might be vulnerable to challenges by Microsoft.
Google by all accounts bought Motorola Mobility to pre-empt legal strikes from the Rockstar Consortium and its members firms as individuals. However, Microsoft lawyers are already in court arguing that Motorola's Android phones infringe its technology.
The life of a patent lawyer must be a good one. Not since we wore shorts and argued in playgrounds over who owned what football and who smelled worse than who have people been able to squabble so openly without shame.
Google has taken something of a high horse in its approach and explained that it only buys patents because everyone does, making us wonder whether it would jump off a cliff if everyone else did. But it might have bought a pup in the Motorola purchase.
Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility of infringing seven of its patents on Monday and called for a ban on imports to the US for some of its handsets, says Bloomberg. This would see US shoppers denied Motorola phones called the Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Backflip and Charm.
"We have a responsibility to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders to safeguard our intellectual property," David Howard, Microsoft's corporate VP and deputy general counsel for litigation said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. "Motorola is infringing our patents and we are confident that the ITC will rule in our favor."
Motorola Mobility, which has just gained a $12.5bn price tag thanks to Google, is keen to defend against the attacks, and a spokeswoman told Bloomberg that it had plans to buy its patent lawyers summer houses and new cars.
"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."
Legal testimony in the case, heard for the first time yesterday, said that Motorola had infringed patents on functions close to Microsoft's heart.
These include, ooh, synchronising emails, and, gasp, displaying changes in battery charge level. µ