Visto fresh from signing a licensing agreement with NTP that gives it access to NTP's patents for the life of those patents to compete directly against RIM and its BlackBerry handset in the US, has filed a legal action against Microsoft for misappropriating Visto's intellectual property.
The complaint asserts that Microsoft has infringed upon multiple patents Visto holds regarding proprietary technology that provides enterprises and consumers with mobile access to their email and other data.
The company is seeking a permanent injunction that would prohibit Microsoft from misappropriating the technology that Visto and its cofounder helped develop nearly a decade ago.
“Microsoft has a long and well-documented history of acquiring the technology of others, branding it as their own, and entering new markets”, said Mr. Bogosian, Visto's Chairman, CEO and President
“In some cases, they buy that technology from its creator. In other cases, they wrongfully misappropriate the intellectual property that belongs to others, which has forced them to acknowledge and settle large IP cases with companies like Sun, AT&T and Burst.com. For their foray into mobile email and data access, Microsoft simply decided to misappropriate Visto's well known and documented patented technology”.
Concerning the suit filed in the US District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas, Visto asserts that Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 is a blatant infringement on Visto's patented technology. Visto's concerns about this market are heightened by Microsoft's recent decision to bundle Windows Mobile 5.0 with their already market-dominating Exchange server software. This method of bundling software has led Microsoft to be prosecuted by competition authorities in the past, and in this case, potentially increases the rate and manner in which their infringement on Visto's patents occurs.
In response to the news, Microsoft said:
"Until we have an opportunity to see and review this complaint, we're not in a position to comment on it. In the meantime, however, let us underscore that Microsoft stands behind its products and respects intellectual property rights".