Microsoft sues Motorola over Android phones

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- Microsoft Corp. filed a lawsuit against Motorola on Friday, saying the smartphone maker had infringed on nine patents in its Android-based devices.

The nine patents that Motorola (MOT, Fortune 500) allegedly violated involve essential smartphone functions, including "synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts; scheduling meetings; and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power," Microsoft said.

A Motorola spokeswoman said the company had not yet received a copy of the complaint and therefore would not comment, but she said, "We will vigorously defend ourselves in this matter."

Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) filed its complaint with the International Trade Commission and in a Washington district court.

Motorola profited from "willful and deliberate" patent infringement, Microsoft alleged, saying that it will "continue to suffer irreparable harm" if the court does not intervene.

Microsoft's court filing specifically mentioned the Motorola Droid 2 and the Motorola Charm smartphones, but Microsoft claims that the infringements were not limited to those devices.

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's corporate vice president, said in a statement that his company has "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."

"Motorola needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its Android smartphones," Gutierrez added.

Android's code is at the heart of another heated patent fight: Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) sued Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) last month, alleging that Android infringes Java patents Oracle acquired though its Sun Microsystems purchase.  To top of page

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