Lawsuits are a messy business and the latest from Microsoft seems to be firmly in hardball territory. They have decided to sue Motorola over a portfolio of 9 patents which they are using on their Android powered Droid handsets.
Microsoft have filed a suit in a district court in Washington and they have also filed with the International Trade Commission. When the ITC are involved you can be sure no one is taking any chances, as they move fast and fees quickly skyrocket.
Microsoft aren’t trying to stop Motorola from using Android, but they are clearly pushing hard to get a component cost added. Android is currently free for handset makers to use and their own platform involves paying a license fee. Google are under pressure also from Microsoft due to repeated claims of copyright infringement. Whatever happens, it certainly isn’t painting Microsoft in a good light.
This kind of behavior has caused Microsoft’s rivals to call the company a “patent troll” and more. “They’re basically the alley thugs,” said Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, in a recent earnings call. “Every thriving economy has alley thugs and we do too. And that’s fine.”
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told the Wall Street Journal, “Android has a patent fee. It’s not like Android’s free. You do have to license patents. HTC’s signed a license with us and you’re going to see license fees clearly for Android as well as for Windows.”
KitGuru says: How do you feel about this?