News
News
12/15/2005
08:32 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Sued Over Mobile E-Mail Patents

Mobile E-mail vendor Visto has sued Microsoft, claiming Windows Mobile violates its patents. Visto also teamed with NTL, which sued RIM.

Mobile e-mail technology vendor Visto Thursday claimed that Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 platform violates its patents and has signed a licensing agreement with NTP, which has sued Research In Motion for alleged patent violations.

In addition, NTP has acquired an equity stake in Visto, the company said in a statement.

Visto said in a statement that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft in U.S. District Court in Texas that covers three specific patents owned by Visto. The complaint asks the court to prohibit Microsoft from improperly using Visto's intellectual property and asks for compensation.

Visto is among the vendors offering mobile e-mail service via cellular operators. Among those operators are Cingular, Sprint Nextel and Canada's Rogers Wireless.

Visto said in a strongly-worded statement that its co-founder, Daniel Mendez was among those who developed and patented a system to enable mobile users to receive e-mail delivered to servers behind corporate firewalls. Microsoft touted Windows Mobile 5.0, which it released last summer, as being able to connect directly to Microsoft Exchange Server so that device users have direct access to their e-mail and other personal information.

“Microsoft has a long and well-documented history of acquiring the technology of others, branding it as their own, and entering new markets,” Visto president and CEO Brian A Bogosian said in a statement. “In some cases, they buy that technology from its creator. In other cases, they wrongfully misappropriate the intellectual property that belongs to others. For their foray into mobile email and data access, Microsoft simply decided to misappropriate Visto’s well known and documented patented technology.”

Bogosian added: “Innovative companies have been pummeled out of existence or into minor players after Microsoft decided to enter their markets. Netscape and RealNetworks are among the best known examples. Courts around the world have ruled time after time against Microsoft, saying that it has acted either inappropriately or in violation of the law, especially concerning how they have treated competing companies. We will not let that happen to Visto.”

In a separate statement, Visto said that it has signed a licensing agreement with NTP, which holds patents that it has claimed RIM violates with its BlackBerry devices. It claimed that NTP's patents complement Visto's patents regarding mobile e-mail and data access.

Visto said in a statement that the agreement gives it access to NTP's patents. Both NTP and Visto called the agreement a win for users and protection against the possibility that RIM could be ordered by courts to stop operating in the U.S..

"This is a clear win for mobile e-mail users everywhere as it provides them with a viable alternative to RIM that protects them from any NTP litigation risk," Donald E. Stout, co-founder of NTP, said in a statement.

"Mobile users now know that Visto provides a safe and secure harbor that today Blackberry cannot offer its own customers," Visto's Bogosian said in a statement.

Financial details of the arrangements between Visto and NTP were not available.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 24, 2014
Start improving branch office support by tapping public and private cloud resources to boost performance, increase worker productivity, and cut costs.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.