It is turning out to be a year of lawsuits and clashes of corporate giants. The center of attention in each of these cases seems to be Android; it is the third time this year that software makers have gone after Android or Android based devices.
The giant organization of Microsoft seems to join the bandwagon as it is the latest one to create a lawsuit against Motorola, claiming that 9 of their patents were violated by Android. The complaints were served to the International Trade Commission and to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. It was said that the use of the Android Smartphone by Motorola violated Microsoft’s intellectual property rights and illegally used Microsoft tools.
In March this year, HTC was involved in a lawsuit against Apple, wherein the latter had had issues with Google’s Android. Later, Google found itself facing a lawsuit against Oracle which had claimed that Google’s Java code was not being properly used in Android.
Many rumors have been doing the rounds as to what are the exact reasons for the clash between Microsoft and Motorola. Some believe that Motorola shifted their attention from Windows mobile based phones to Android in trying to catch the big waves Android based devices were creating the market. However, another very important reason was put forth by open source analyst Carlo Daffara on Twitter, who wrote that both the patents being talked about are covered by the Open Invention Network or OIN. Motorola is not an OIN member and as a result Microsoft has picked its target wisely.
The motivation for Microsoft for this lawsuit seems to be money because it would result in loss of a lot of potential revenue created by the huge success of Android. As Windows Mobile is yet to make a mark in the mobile market, putting the brakes on Google’s operating system seems to be the present strategy of Microsoft. Talking purely from the business point of view, it is a smart move by Microsoft, just like the others – Oracle and Apple. Instead of going after the source of Android, they are directly attacking the vendors who need Android for generating sales. These lawsuits may make potential vendors think twice before adopting Android.
From the point of view of the vendors, they would be in a dilemma, because these Smartphone makers need to use Android in the near future. After the lawsuit, it may make them consider the other options for choosing other operating systems. Honestly speaking, there aren’t many other options left as the market for Windows Mobile has already voted out and Apple isn’t sharing. In that case, their only hope may be Android for which they may have to pay Microsoft and the others.
Whatever the result of the lawsuit is, it may take years to sort out the issue. However, it does make one thing clear again – in the world of business, ethics often take a backseat when it comes to money.