Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against TomTom for patent infringement after apparently trying for more than a year to "engage in licensing discussions" with TomTom.

The company has issued the following statement from Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing:

"Microsoft has filed an action today in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington and in the International Trade Commission, against TomTom NV and TomTom Inc. for infringement of Microsoft patents. We have taken this action after attempting for more than a year to engage in licensing discussions with TomTom".

"We have an established intellectual property licensing program, and the patents involved in this case, relating to innovations in car navigation technology and other computing functionality, have been licensed by many others. In situations such as this, when a reasonable business agreement cannot be reached, we have no choice but to pursue legal action to protect our innovations and our partners who license them. Other companies that utilize Microsoft patents have licensed and we are asking TomTom to do the same".

"TomTom is a highly respected and important company. We remain open to quickly resolving this situation with them through an IP licensing agreement".

UPDATE: A TomTom spokesperson has told Reuters: "We reject the claim and will vigorously defend ourselves".