Bloomberg News

Microsoft Sued for Infringement by E-Mail Company

December 15, 2005

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US), the world's biggest software maker, was sued by a California company over its software that sends messages to phones and organizers.

Visto Corp., a closely held seller of mobile e-mail technology, filed a patent-infringement lawsuit yesterday in federal court in Marshall, Texas. The suit alleges that Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 infringes three Visto patents relating to mobile access to e-mail.

``For their foray into mobile e-mail and data access, Microsoft simply decided to misappropriate Visto's well known and documented patented technology,'' Visto Chief Executive Officer Brian Bogosian said in a statement.

Visto is seeking an injunction blocking Microsoft from continuing its alleged misappropriation and unspecified money damages, the statement said.

Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to its e-mail and mobile-device software that sends messages to phones and organizers in a push to compete with Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)'s BlackBerry devices.

``Until we have an opportunity to see and review this complaint, we're not in a position to comment on it,'' Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said. ``In the meantime, however, let us underscore that Microsoft stands behind its products and respects intellectual property rights.''

The suit was filed the same day that Redwood Shores, California-based Visto announced a patent-licensing agreement with NTP Inc., to share patents covering wireless e-mail transmission. NTP also bought a stake in Visto.

NTP, based in Arlington, Virginia, is pursuing its own patent-infringement case against Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Dunn in New York at adunn8@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick Oster at poster@bloomberg.net.


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