Motorola is walking into this week with both good and bad news. When on one hand the Google Motorola deal is expected to close sometime next week, Microsoft, which has patent deals with all major Android handset manufacturers for its ActiveSync technology, has finally registered a win against Motorola.
Microsoft was able to persuade most mobile handset manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Acer, ViewSonic, LG and alike to sign a patent deal over one of its technologies. This has left Microsoft with an array of cash cows. Motorola was the only handset manufacturer that went to court over this case instead of accepting the deal. The case has been running for the last four months and yesterday, it was finally ruled in favor of Microsoft.
Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, David Howard reacts to this win saying,
We hope that now Motorola will be willing to join the vast majority of Android device makers selling phones in the U.S. by taking a license to our patents.
This case gained the utmost importance to Microsoft ever since Motorola became Google’s eye candy. The case, which started with Microsoft claiming six patent infringements, has been settled for one proven infringement.
From this infringement case, and Oracle’s, we see a common trend. Companies claim bloated infringements and finally manage to walk away with at least a minimal set of infringements being proved. On one hand where these cases are a hindrance for innovation, they also threaten smaller businesses that cannot help but infringe on patents unknowingly. However, patents also form an important asset for any company and it is only natural for them to defend those.