Mobile patent fights heat up, starting with Microsoft-Motorola

The patent battles that have increasingly characterized the mobile industry for the past few years are heating up this week. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) began arguing a case against Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) before the U.S. International Trade Commission, arguing that Motorola's Android phones are infringing on seven of Microsoft's patents. The case is one of many that is essentially a proxy battle against Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, and it is the first smartphone dispute to be heard by the ITC since Google unveiled its proposed $12.5 billion acquisition fo Motorola. Google is acquiring Motorola in part for Motorola's large patent portfolio. Meanwhile, the patent holding company Acacia Research Corp. has accused numerous smartphone makers, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), of patent infringement. Acacia is reportedly in talks with some of companies it filed against. Article (sub. req.)