Microsoft wins trial to invalidate Googlerola’s “Activesync” patent

Microsoft today won a U.K. ruling invalidating Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.’s patent protection for technology synchronizing message statuses across multiple devices.

Microsoft itself files the case against Motorola Mobility in London a year ago in a pre-emptive bid to invalidate the patent before it could be sued for infringement.

The 2002 patent centred on synchronizing messages to multiple devices, and would have impacted Microsoft’s Live Messenger instant-messaging system and Exchange ActiveSync protocol.

Judge Richard Arnold said in a decision in London today the technology was obvious to experts in the field at the time and should not have been issued.

“The patent is invalid and should be revoked,” Arnold said during a 30-second hearing after a week-long trial. “Some claims in the patent “add nothing inventive in my view,” he said.

Microsoft is currently embroiled in a court case addressing similar patents in Germany, and Apple recently lost a case against Motorola using the same invalidated patent.

“We’re pleased the court granted our request to invalidate Motorola’s patent and welcome yet another step toward clarifying the cases between our companies,” David Howard, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, said in an e-mailed statement.


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