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MEAP Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Rostyslav Demush, Dean Madison, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: SOA & WOA Magazine, Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms, Microsoft Developer, Android

Article

ITC Says Motorola’s Android Widgets Infringe Microsoft IP

Microsoft is collecting Android royalties from Samsung, HTC and Acer

Maybe Android won't be vaporized in the thermonuclear war that Steve Jobs promised to fund before he died; maybe it's doomed to suffer a thousand cuts.

After the International Trade Commission decided Monday that HTC's Android phones definitely infringe an Apple patent, it said Tuesday that Motorola's Android widgets infringe a Microsoft patent and that US sales could be blocked.

Like HTC, Motorola is playing the verdict as a victory since it's not as bad as it might have been. It's a preliminary decision by an administrative law judge that the ITC's commissioners could overturn by April 20 and Microsoft originally went after MMI with nine patents but only wound up nailing MMI on four claims of one patent called ActiveSync that lets users schedule group meetings across mobile devices. Microsoft dropped two patents and the judge threw out six.

Motorola is in a better position than HTC. At least Microsoft is willing to license its IP for a price. The same cannot be said for Apple.

Microsoft is collecting Android royalties from Samsung, HTC and Acer.

Apple and Google reportedly license ActiveSync. Any possible settlement may await Google completing its proposed $12.5 billion purchase of MMI, which it said it wanted for patent protection.

MMI says it's reviewing its options, adding that the judge's "initial determination may provide clarity on the definition of the Microsoft '566 patent for which a violation was found and will help us avoid infringement of this patent in the US market."

Microsoft and Motorola are also suing each other in federal court for patent infringement as well as in Europe. Microsoft is suing Barnes & Noble over its Android-based Nook e-reader.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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