UK court dismisses Motorola's patent as invalid

In a major twist to an ongoing patent battle involving Microsoft Corp. and Google-owned Motorola Mobility, a UK court has ruled that the latter's patent is invalid. As per a Bloomberg report, Judge Richard Arnold ruled that Motorola's patent technology pertaining to synchronising message statuses across several devices is not valid. In fact, in his London ruling, Judge Arnold shared that the 2002 patent owned by Google Inc. Motorola Mobility unit shouldn’t have been issued, since the technology “was obvious to experts in the field at the time".


The judge then ordered the patent to be revoked. Both Microsoft Corp. and Motorola Mobility are at loggerheads over patents pertaining to smartphone technology and Microsoft's Xbox gaming software in the US and Germany. Microsoft is now seeking royalties from the Google-owned company. The Redmond-based company, in fact, now claims that all Android running devices use its technology. 

Microsoft vs Motorola in a patent war

Motorola patent dismissed as invalid



"Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, filed the lawsuit against Motorola Mobility in London a year ago in a pre-emptive bid to invalidate the patent before it could be sued for infringement,” the report added further. Both companies are awaiting a decision over the same patent in Germany. The report quoted David Howard, Microsoft’s Deputy General Counsel, as saying, "We’re pleased the court granted our request to invalidate Motorola’s patent and welcome yet another step toward clarifying the cases between our companies."


Interestingly, the patent in question pertains to the pager technology from the 1990s, according to the report. The arguments in the current scenario, though, pertain to the application of the patent to newer mobile devices and computers relying on synchronising messages statuses, such as if an e-mail has been read by the user, or is unread. As per the judgment, if the patent by Motorola were valid, then Microsoft’s Live Messenger instant-messaging system and Exchange ActiveSync protocol, used by the company’s customers to synchronise e-mail statuses across devices, "would have violated the intellectual property".


Speaking of patent lawsuits, one cannot really miss out on the one brewing between Apple and Samsung. In a rather interesting turn of events, South Korean giant Samsung Electronics affirmed that it would drop its lawsuits seeking a sales ban on Apple's products in Europe. Samsung said it would not make attempts to stop the sale of some Apple products in Germany, Britain, France, Italy and the Netherlands. Interestingly though, Samsung made no mention of whether it would put an end to its court battle for compensation. Quoting the South Korean giant, reports state, "Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court."


The ongoing patent lawsuit between the two tech giants took an important turn. This development came just a day after a US judge rejected Apple's permanent injunction request against Samsung. Reportedly, Apple approached US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California in an attempt to have two pretrial sales bans against Samsung products – Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus phone. Further, Apple asked Koh to impose a permanent sales ban against 26 Samsung phones. In her latest ruling, Judge Koh ruled that Apple did not present enough evidence to prove that its patented features pushed consumer demand for the iPhone. 

Published Date: Dec 24, 2012 04:18 pm | Updated Date: Dec 24, 2012 04:18 pm