Motorola countersues Microsoft in escalating legal battle

The legal tit-for-tat between Motorola (NYSE:MOT) and Microsoft is escalating. 

Motorola countersued Microsoft a day after the software giant slapped Motorola with a patent-infringement suit of its own. On Wednesday, Motorola sued Microsoft in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the Western District of Wisconsin, and accused Microsoft of infringing on 16 of its patents with everything from Microsoft's PC and Server software to its Windows Mobile software and its Xbox products. Motorola said its patents covering Windows Mobile software relate to Windows Marketplace, Bing maps and object-oriented software architecture.

"We are committed to protecting the interests of our shareholders, customers and other stakeholders, and are bringing this action against Microsoft in order to halt its infringement of key Motorola patents," Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, said in a statement. "Motorola has invested billions of dollars in R&D to create a deep and broad intellectual property portfolio, and we will continue to do what is necessary to protect our proprietary technology."

The Motorola suit follows one Microsoft filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, which alleged that Motorola wanted unreasonable and discriminatory royalties for its technology related to wireless and video-coding technologies, like the ones Microsoft uses for its XBox gaming console.

Microsoft also alleged in a suit in October that Motorola's Android phones infringe on its patents. That suit was the latest in a string of patent disputes involving Google's mobile operating system.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this AllThingsD blog post
- see this Engadget post

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