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Microsoft gets Motorola patent invalidated in Europe because it was "obvious"

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Microsoft gets Motorola patent invalidated in Europe because it was
This is a ruling that we'd love to see coming through a lot more often in patent lawsuits in the US, but unfortunately, this news is coming from the UK. Microsoft has won a trial against Motorola (and therefore Google) in Europe, which has led to a Motorola patent being invalidated because the technology it covered was deemed to be "obvious".

The trial was concerning a Motorola patent that was granted back in 2002, which covered technology synchronizing message statuses across multiple devices. The patent is often referred to as Motorola's "Pager Patent", because the process it describes was mainly intended to be used with pagers. Microsoft had been worried that Motorola would use it to sue over similar functionality in Microsoft's Live Messenger, and Exchange ActiveSync, so Microsoft filed a motion first to try to invalidate the patent. 

Well, Judge Richard Arnold found in favor of Microsoft, and has invalidated the patent saying that the patent should never have been granted in the first place because the technology was obvious to experts in the field at the time. 

We can think of quite a number of patents that cover technology that is "obvious to common folk", let alone experts, but it seems the USPTO doesn't take that into consideration when deciding on the validity of patents. 

source: Bloomberg

19 Comments
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posted on 21 Dec 2012, 17:29 1

1. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6689; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Jeezes M$ stop this trial already we are all sick and tired of patent trials.

posted on 22 Dec 2012, 08:40 1

16. haseebzahid (Posts: 1836; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


it was countering the patent by MS to be on safe side not fining motorola

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 17:43 5

2. sprockkets (Posts: 1316; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Obvious? We'll call it even when you invalidate MS' patent on making two SMS msgs appear as one...

...and the stupid meeting appointment one...

Funny how apple suffered a ban due to that patent...

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 18:02

3. joey_sfb (Posts: 3138; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Companies really enjoy spending all those money in patents and lawsuits that bring zero value to the countries economy.

The open market should be the only place to decide whether a product or innovation brings values. Every innovation build on the foundation of other innovations. Human race has evolve on that principle for centuries.

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 23:32

10. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Advocates who fight in courtroom and the courtroom itself doesn't operate free :)

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 20:29

4. MeoCao (unregistered)


I love Google and don't like MS, but I think this invalidation is good for technology. Broad patents on such trivial matters will do harm to innovation.

Hopefully all such patents will be invalidated.

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 20:40 1

5. theBankRobber (Posts: 649; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


How about the slide to unlock patent??? But its Apple so it with be OK to use in courts, apple will get money from OEM's. Then they invalidate the patent and everyone is to be OK with it?!?!?! Screw this nonsense. I'm tired of Microsoft and Apple playing the innocent ones when in reality they are the most evil companies out there. Scream FRAND all you fanboys want but the truth is slowly coming out.

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 20:42

6. sprockkets (Posts: 1316; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


The UK court DID rule it invalid due to the Neonode1, thanks to the recent apple trial vs. samsung.

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 20:46 2

7. MeoCao (unregistered)


Apple gets nothings from slide to unlock patent.

This is only unique way to unlock and it can be replaced easily by Google and Android OEMs.

But some Apple broad and generic patents are being invalidated now and expect more to come.

posted on 22 Dec 2012, 01:37

12. 8logic (Posts: 131; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


people have been sliding things to lock and unlock things forever............. just think about it

posted on 22 Dec 2012, 02:08 1

13. MeoCao (unregistered)


Maybe u r right, but why waste time and efforts to fight a worthless patent? Apple tried to use that patent to sue others but was told they can't do that again.

And we have millions of better ways to unlock things.

posted on 22 Dec 2012, 17:26

18. theBankRobber (Posts: 649; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Apple had won slide to unlock against Motorola in Germany, that's why most of Motorola's devices have been banned from the country. Its bulls**t and should be looked into. I'm tired of Microsoft and Apple saying how they NEED to ban other devices for s**tty patents but when its the other way around, they feel like they deserve the royal treatment and not get banned. Hey the Wifi patent from Motorola is just as important as slide to unlock.

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 21:19 2

8. johnnh (Posts: 37; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)


are you joking? the judge is an idiot, pager system is fairly complicated to make it "obvious". I mean, unless this man has a phd, a degree in comunications enginering, and a degree in law he has no right to call that obvious. That is the problem with common law system, it's too subjective.

posted on 22 Dec 2012, 00:07 1

11. JC557 (Posts: 1150; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Not to mention that Motorola had a hand in pushing the era of cellphones.

posted on 21 Dec 2012, 22:44 1

9. shuaibhere (Posts: 1660; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Then why the heck MS charging fees from android OEMs for obvious patents?????

posted on 22 Dec 2012, 08:44 1

17. haseebzahid (Posts: 1836; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


because other OEMS dont go to court to invalidate them :P

posted on 22 Dec 2012, 06:06 2

14. papss (unregistered)


Oh for the love of god.. You android fanboys are amazingly dense.. This is an obvious and should be invalidated.. You cry because Samsung got sued over a silly patent now you cry about them correcting a silly patent.. Just stop already.. There are many more that need invalidated.. Slide to unlock included

posted on 22 Dec 2012, 07:11 4

15. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


they see this as a slap to there android castle, its pathetic

when they say abot silly patents they only mean anyone who arent using android on there devices. if samsung had the rounded corner crap patent most on here would cheer genius............its the way fanboys are

i think the patent system needs a complete overhaul, so many stupid ones that are too vague. all patents should be specific and for real innovation, ground breaking idea's with concepts and working prototypes etc

posted on 23 Dec 2012, 18:50

19. putes (Posts: 38; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


Now, I am disappointed that this judgement when against Motorola since I feel Apple is guilty of having more obvious patents that anyone else. However, I am happy that the patent offices have started to raise the bar before they grant a patent and they also have started to review past ones.

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