According to statements released by a senior attorney being employed by Microsoft, the large number of patent related lawsuits between companies in the mobile industry is very understandable as it is caused by the nature of related laws in the United States. He suggested that the software giant will be expected to go on with its litigations against the Android mobile platform from Google. Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, has told the media that the protection of patents is very necessary in the business. He stated that Microsoft already holds the patents for many features which add to the efficiency of smartphones, for using which Android should pay royalties to Microsoft.
The strong stance of Microsoft comes at a time when it is also signing agreements for licensing with Samsung and HTC, and in turn generating much more income from these deals than it does from its Windows Phone mobile OS. Very often, the legal battles related with patents are with the aim of striking such agreements, as most manufacturers would prefer to agree to licensing than shutting down the production of their devices altogether after injunctions and bans.
However, the instances of such legal recourses have increased many times during the last couple of years, which has prompted arguments over how the patent system affects the innovation and reforms in the market. Gutierrez categorically denied that Microsoft is waging a war against the Android platform, stating that the patent disputes take place when the involved technologies are extremely disruptive. He said that these cases are unique to the current time and situation and that the patent system in the US doesn’t need to be redone.
One of the possible solutions which have been proposed, the America Invents Act, is an attempt to cleanse the patent related regulations as it grants the rights of intellectual property on the basis of earliest filing rather than the first invention. This new Act in the federal jurisdiction might prevent some of the lawsuits from proceeding as the patent applications are speeded up by the law; however it is unlikely that it will keep the likes of Microsoft from pursuing lucrative rewards from patent litigations. Microsoft, being one of the biggest technology companies of the world, has a huge patent portfolio, thus manufacturers like HTC and Samsung agree to pay Microsoft settlements instead.
- Microsoft’s lawyer says “Android stands on our shoulders” (goandroid.co.in)
- More trouble for Android, Apple granted Slide to Unlock patent (goandroid.co.in)