Microsoft/Motorola lawsuit moved to Seattle

NEW YORK Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:22pm EDT

NEW YORK Aug 17 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Wednesday won a motion to have a patent lawsuit brought against it by Motorola Mobility (MMI.N) moved to its preferred federal court in its hometown of Seattle.

The decision to move the case, made by a Florida federal court on Wednesday, is a potential setback for Motorola, as it will likely mean a delay in trial proceedings and casts some doubt over the future of Motorola's Android phone offerings, which Microsoft claims infringe its technology patents.

The patent battle between Microsoft and Motorola took on greater significance with Google Inc's (GOOG.O) agreement this week to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, which many interpreted as a move by Google to shore up patent protection for its Android phone software. [ID:nL3E7JF1LD]

Microsoft and Motorola are involved in a wide-ranging patent dispute spread over several cases before the International Trade Commission and in federal courts in Washington state and Wisconsin.

The claims and counterclaims cover dozens of patents and a range of products and software made by each company, but the most contentious focus on Motorola's use of Android. [ID:nN10243717]

As part of its claims against Motorola, Microsoft is seeking to ban the sale of Motorola's Android phones, which if successful, would be a huge blow for Google's deal.

The Florida court found no overwhelming reason for it to handle the case, and said instead that it would be more convenient for witnesses for any trial to be held in Seattle, where other disputes between the two companies are due to be tried. No date has yet been set for a trial. (Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Gary Hill)

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