Motorola open to working with Microsoft, promptly sues Apple

eoeIn a surprise turn around, Motorola has responded to being sued by Microsoft by countersuing…. Apple.

Motorola’s CEO today told Wall Street Journal that “lawsuits are part of the business” and the company was still "open to finding ways to work with Microsoft," but "it has to be a compelling offering."

Noting that Motorola would rather have done without the lawsuit, he however insisted with 20,000 to 40,000 patents "our intellectual property position is better than most," and “everyone has a responsibility to their IP holders”.

These statements normally precede a countersuit, but the target was rather unexpected.

Motorola today files suit against Apple for infringing 18 patents with its iPhone, iPad, iTouch and some of its computers.

The patents involved cover a variety of technologies, including Apple’s MobileMe service and its software application store, wireless email, proximity sensing, application management, location-based services and technology for synchronizing multiple devices.

They also complained to the ITC, asking to bar US imports of Apple products.

While this may just be the first volley of a series of lawsuits from Motorola their initial target is really interesting, and may be preceding a cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft.

Read more at Wall Street Journal and Yahoo here.