Microsoft sues Motorola Mobility over mapping patent

Trouble is brewing for Google-owned Motorola Mobility. Microsoft Corp has sued it in Germany for an alleged violation of a mapping patent. IT World now reports that an emailed statement received from a spokesperson of the court says that the Google Maps app accessible on Motorola phones allegedly infringes upon a mapping patent. A hearing is now scheduled for Thursday at the regional court of Munich.


Microsoft has alleged that some Motorola Mobility products violate a patent “that describes a method of obtaining the map from one database, resource information such as Starbucks locations from a second database, and overlaying the two sets of data”. This technique is used in Google Maps that comes installed on Motorola's Android devices. Microsoft has sued Motorola Mobility and its German subsidiary. 

Microsoft vs Motorola in a patent war

Motorola Mobility sued over a mapping patent



Elaborating further upon the events leading to this, the report by IT World adds that the mapping patent lawsuit was initiated at about the same as Microsoft filed a host of other Android-related patent lawsuits against Motorola in Germany. Reportedly, Microsoft wants Motorola to pay a licensing fee for Android. Microsoft has a licensing agreement with HTC, Samsung, and most of the Android market that covers licenses to all Microsoft's Android-related patents. Motorola, however, does not have a license, and continues to infringe on its patents, claims Microsoft.


A couple days ago a regional court in Mannheim ruled that Motorola Mobility did not infringe upon a Microsoft patent that enables applications to work on different handsets. The patent in question allows application developers to avoid writing separate codes for each handset, thereby saving time and development costs.


Microsoft won three patent lawsuits against Motorola Mobility in Germany, leading to smartphones with the disputed technology being pulled out of the German market. 


In the second half of May this year, a German regional court ruled that Motorola Mobility did indeed infringe on Microsoft patents by offering the option of sending longer text in a batch of several messages on their mobile phones. "We're pleased the court agreed today that Motorola has infringed Microsoft's intellectual property, and we hope Motorola will be willing to join other Android device makers by taking a license to our patents," Microsoft said in a statement, referring to Google's Android operating system for mobile phones.


Earlier that month, a German court in its ruling found Microsoft guilty of infringing on a host of Motorola Mobility's patents. Following a ruling delivered by Judge Holger Kircher, a court in Mannheim, Germany ordered Microsoft to withdraw their popular Xbox 360 gaming consoles and Windows 7 operating system software from the German market. Microsoft, however, said that the ruling does not mean that it would be required to remove those products from the German market. Microsoft has secured a preliminary injunction, granted to it by a US court in Seattle against Motorola, preventing the latter from enforcing any German court order.

Published Date: Oct 12, 2012 05:18 pm | Updated Date: Oct 12, 2012 05:18 pm