updated 10:05 pm EST, Fri December 24, 2010
Microsoft and Motorola expand paten lawsuits
Microsoft and Motorola were discovered on Friday to have expanded their countering patent lawsuits to include technology that could cover the wider industry. Motorola on Thursday filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Wisconsin to include two new patents that claim the Kinect motion controller violates its patents Microsoft responded the same day by filing its own lawsuit in a Southern District of Florida court that added seven new patents to its claims, five of which claimed infringements by Android while two more aimed at Motorola's DVR boxes.
Two of the Android patents focused on touchscreen technology. Microsoft claimed that Android copied one patent for simulating mouse input with a stylus or a finger, such as a long press on the screen. A broader claim for a "highlevel active pen matrix" covers a much broader use of a touchscreen, such as dragging and tapping with precision tracking of where the stylus or finger is on the display.
The combination of countering lawsuits puts a total of 35 patents in question and reveals that Microsoft is now willing to target very broad technology with patents. Its touchscreen patents could technically apply to iOS and most other, modern touchscreen mobile operating systems in whole or in part. Apple might be difficult to challenge as it already has at least 200 patents on the iPhone and has already been leveraging some of them in lawsuits against HTC, Nokia, and Motorola. Other companies, primarily Android manufacturers that Microsoft has been systematically targeting to stifle competition, may be more vulnerable. [via Florian Mueller]