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