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Microsoft sues Kyocera over alleged patent infringement violations

Microsoft filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against smartphone maker Kyocera late on Friday, claiming that the Japanese-based company has violated seven patents that are owned by Microsoft.

According to Reuters, Microsoft says that Kyocera's Android smartphones use patents that are owned by the folks at Redmond, including ones relating to location services and text messaging. Microsoft has made patent licensing deals with nearly every Android device maker. The story quotes Microsoft deputy general counsel David Howard as saying, "We respect Kyocera but we believe they need to license the patented technology they are using. We're hopeful this case can be resolved amicably,"

In addition to the lawsuit, Microsoft is also asking the court to place a US sales injunction on Kyocera's smartphones that are allegedly using Microsoft's patents. So far, Kyocera has yet to respond to Microsoft's legal action. Ironically, Kyocera showed off a prototype smartphone with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 installed at this week's Mobile World Congress trade show. We are guessing this new legal action by Microsoft doesn't bode well for the near future release of any Windows-based devices by Kyocera.

Source: Reuters

  • Wow.
  • Why would people auto-assume just because MS is during them that this may end all future partnerships or collabs? Likely the company would understand and acknowledge they have done something wrong and fix the issue, nothing to it.
  • Yes..because the lawsuits comes usually before the talks
  • maybe... usually there is a buch of notifications and requests for settlement otherwise judges throw it out. This stuff always went on ... just now with SPhones its news
  • Uhm...look at Samsung...hello and goodbye lawsuit...hello office apps built into android (lmao), and new samsung WP .....*cue up the laughter from this short video*...
  • Unless they were Google. Then they would stop their feet and throw a fit
  • Kyocera doesn't support windows phone anyway, so I could care less and their multifunction printer suck. I made the mistake of pitching a couple for our fire department....i can't wait til the contract is completed so we can move to another line
  • Kyocera doesn't support windows phone anyway, so I could care less and their multifunction printer suck. I made the mistake of purchasing a couple for our fire department....i can't wait til the contract is completed so we can move to another line
  • If you do, you wanna consider Canon iR ADV multifunctionals. They are awesome :)
  • Agreed. Apple sued Samsung over design yet Samsung still provides parts.... I.e. screen, chip sets, etc. Business is business. These companies know how to compartmentalized business.
  • But one thing is business another it's a possible war which Microsoft can be harmed because Kyocera I doubt that want still ahead with the Windows phone , smartphone of Kyocera if they now get a legal lawsuit because got caught using patents without pay to the inventor , we have to remember that are Asiatics and to them the copy and cheat it's an Art not a crime and to them it's not something bad copy to your next neighbors
  • This can easily be resolved.
  • Yes, as long as they agree to make windows phone, Microsoft will stop suing them
  • B-but they already have, it's right there in the article.
  • Those are just for show... probably to appease Microsoft or an attempt to forestall the Microsoft lawsuit . Kyocera does not produce WP devices, at least not yet.
  • Please understand the difference between a prototype and commercialised product. Prototypes often don't make it to consumer market
  • True. But Microsoft has a history of reducing royalties to Android OEMs that also make Windows phones. So this lawsuit could well increase the likelihood of this Kyocera device coming out.
  • Or Microsoft can just buy them so we'll have Kyocera+Nokia durable and waterproof Lumias to kill the S6/iPhone 6.
  • or microsoft could just buy every company in the mobile market, then get themselves split up into a bunch of different companies because of monopoly laws!
  • Ask Google.
  • Why is Microsoft the only company the DOJ wants to mess with. Can someone tell me why the tactics Apple and Google use affect considered the same thing Microsoft was accused of over a default browser and productivity software bring pre installed even though you could change it if you wanted to?
  • A Microkiacera?
  • No
  • Well I hope it isn't a low-end like the one Acer just announced because if that's the case Microsoft isn't accomplishing anything in my opinion and it's the same reason the surface line had to be made; to show OEMs how to make devices that peek customers interest because the cheap, fast, bulky plastic crap wasn't doing windows any favors, it was just pushing people away and over to Macs
  • Suing always vitiates the relationship. Maybe that is the reason NONE of the OEMs are enthusiastic about windows phones? For all of them barring MS itself, its an afterthought
  • Doesn't work that way, unless that is made into an agreement for the licenses. In the long run MS must pursue payment (whatever the form) or lose the patents.
  • Time to pay up
  • It's is only business....Now pay bitch!
  • Idiotic move.
  • Microsoft's way is to first exhaust all means for an amicable settlement. They only file lawsuits when the discussions fail. You're really the idiot here.
  • That's exactly what Microsoft do, they aren't Apple who CBA to try resolving issues like this amicably first.
  • And how do you know that there wasn't any amicable talk prior to filing the lawsuit?
  • I don't, how do you know that there was?
  • Apple and Samsung had talks before they took anything to trial, but feel free to continue bashing any company that isn't Microsoft.
  • Yet Apple still decided to go ahead and sue Samsung, not very amicable is it but carry on praising every company that isn't Microsoft!!!!
  • Good move
  • Microsoft is stupid...
  • I owe you money because I'm using your IP. I won't pay you, therfore you are stupid. You do see that your logic has flaws, do you not?  
  • They could have a discussion regarding this matter with kyocera before filing the lawsuit..
  • How do you know they didn't?
  • And you know that they didn't have talks about it beforehand? Also, hitting them in their blindside can make talks go faster.
  • Microsoft does not file lawsuits without first exhausting all means for an amicable settlement. But then you're too stupid to understand that.
  • Only when they don't want to pay then Microsoft will settle in court. Look at other OEMs paying Microsoft.
  • You're stupid..... How about I just come and take something you own without you're permission! What you gonna do about it? Let me and shake my hand and say oh it's okay, take whatever you like! It's these OEMs that are stupid, do you really think Kyocera didn't know about all of these other OEMs having to pay royalties due to Android infringing on Ms patents? Of course they knew and decided, "let's get away with it as long as we can". If I were an OEM, I'd be pissed at Google because they knew they were unlawfully using Ms patents but knew the risk was worth the reward plus they made OEMs sign agreements that freed them from liability and left OEMs responsible if it was ever discovered. If they were smart, they could have made good WP devices and marketed them equally from the beginning while at the same time, broadening their device portfolios and reducing their dependence on Google, but apparently most of them aren't smart enough to have done that. But if and when the Android well runs dry, who they gonna turn to? Apple, no because Apple doesn't license their OS, blackberry, no because their ship has sailed, Nokia no because their a shell of their past selves. What makes Microsoft successful is because they have a broad portfolio despite windows and office once being the dominant part of it, they have theirs hands in a lot of things!
  • No, kyocera is playing double game. To escape from this problem, they show off there prototype windows phone.
  • Agreed
  • "We are guessing this new legal action by Microsoft doesn't bode well for the near future release of any Windows-based devices by Kyocera." The big bad wolf Samsung tried, Personally not hurting with no TRUE S5 or S6 like WP from Samsung, so, why should I fret about Kyocera
  • Yea. On the other hand more players is,good. But I would love a Galaxy W6 or something.
  • What? Another low end device? We have more than enough of those
  • So much for that Windows phone they were going to put out...
  • A prototype is completely different than a consumer product. Just because they made a prototype does not mean a consumer release is imminent.
  • Thank you for being intelligent enough to read the article about Kyocera at MWC and being attentive enough to realize it said prototype...
  • They had said that the Windows Phone they showed was a prototype proof of concept, and there was a possibility they wouldn't even release it...
  • Meh, if they did violate then they do need to pay.
  • Wonder no one is making handsets for them, they pissed off all OEMs, they were charging them 4-8 dollars to use wp7 or wp8 , Disneyland
  • Yup, they won't release that prototype they have shown kn MWC.
  • @desitunez. What are you talking about? I see new OEMs and phones every week on WC. I don't think the OEMs are THAT pissed off.
  • You obviously just crawled from under the rock because what you're saying is not true anymore... WP is free to use for entry level and mid-tier phones.
  • Windows is free for any device under 7" regardless of specs.
  • Yeh, but when they launched WP 7 , all OEM were supporting them.. Sony Acer HTC Samsung , they got greedy and platform didn't took off , Las resort was to make it free.. But now no one give a shit
  • Honestly ppl probably make windows phone to not have to pay Microsoft for the android royalties like Samsung
  • Yeah! You are right! They should probably join politics.
    Nu tag line of Microsoft.
    If you're not making devices with windows, get ready to get sued.
  • There's cheap considering navy OEMs exist today because of windows.
  • Looks like we won't see another windows phone by them...
  • You don't understand, this probably means we WILL see a windows phone by them.
  • Bye bye Kyocera Windows Phone then. *cries*
  • Not a big deal, man. You'll survive:)
  • At first he is afraid.... nanana...
  • I presume Kyocera threw a bone (new prototype at MWC) after being in discussions with MSFT for some time. Its hard to believe that producing a WindowsPhone would be less expensive than just paying MSFt the $7-12 p/device sold. Either way I would love a "tough phone" option for the next wave of device releases
  • 8.1 ? I thought it was W10TP ????
  • Yes, it was.
  • I'm not a fan of current patent laws, but you have to pay the piper, so to speak.
  • Microsoft probably forgot that Kyocera was releasing Windows phone in the first place. Lol.
  • Or the fact that Kyocera bluntly said they may or MAY NOT be releasing the phone they showed off
  • Had to rub my eyes twice when I read the title, thought I misread it lol.
  • I haven't seen a Kyocera phone in ten years...
  • I believe they are also ODM AND OEM, but they are vast amongst prepaid carriers
  • Ive haven't either. considering how fragile their sliders were they caused most carriers in NA to cease the business with them
  • Simple just release a windows phone of good quality and have get it to sell at least 100,000 and we wont sue
  • Strike a deal saying they have to produce that tough-WP we saw the other day :)
  • Say goodbye to the Kyocera prototype.
  • You have it backwards
  • MS making enemies.. I doubt they will launch that windows phone now lol
  • Other way around. They making enemies with MS
  • Enemies are enemies... Doesn't matter who started what. What matters is any new/ongoing discussion/negotiation will be difficult to resolve/capitulate... enter third party.
  • So... Whens the Surface phone with the Intel Atom coming? Flagship gate. ;)
  • -facedesk-  They're making a windows phone. Please just give them an incentive to make more of them in Japan.
  • It was a prototype. Now they have the more leverage to get them to actually produce it.
  • This was purely strategic and well calculated by Kyocera's part:
    Microsoft has been trying yo get Kyocera to license patents related to Android for some.time now - this is not anything new.
    We can only conclude, that Kyocera showed a Windows Phone prototype at MWC for the express purpose to coerce Microsoft into giving Kyocera more favorable licensing terms.
    Without this "prototype" Kyocera had no leverage and nothing to offer MS in Exchange.
    This article isn't newsworthy unto itself. These NON-IMPORTANT non-damming press releases re sent out late on Friday because they don't want too much attention drawn to it.
    This press release was sent out as a "warning" to other Android licensees' to either license from MS, or alternatively, show MS existing licensees that they are still serious about collecting royalties.
  • This is strange. Thought Japanese people, unlike Samsung, had honor. Could be wrong though...
  • Samsung isn't japanese, but whatever...
  • @Simone Ghezzi,
    Note keyword: "unlike" Samsung.
    Keywords are only the thrust of any argument... "But[,] whatever"
  • Honor doesn't extend to business practices.
  • You clearly haven't been following the business practices of Sony, or the majority of Japanese people who refuse to acknowledge or apologise for their actions in the years up to and including the Second World War.
  • Throw Nintendo in that mix too, they've been pretty sheisty about their business of late. No point getting mad at the current population for WWII since most of the people who were around then are long dead.
  • Just because Microsoft is nice to everyone, it doesn't mean you can fuck with them and get away with it. Microsoft is right to sue and the rest of the OEMs should take notice in that.
  • But nobody buys kyocera phones. Not even android users. They can keep their crap.
  • Why can't we all just get along and borrow/use each others patents? The world would be a better place, even better, advance to a new technological era.
  • Why should intellectual property be treated differently than other types of property? Perhaps when the world is 'done' we can live in the utopia where everything is free (yet some monsters may come at night and eat us).
  • Exactly, so if you developed Facebook (recall an in intellectual property lawsuit was involved) you wouldn't appreciate Zuckerburg's
  • Because it takes money to invent maintain and improve technologies!... Be smart!
  • Mytube updated
  • Already reported :)
  • Thbx bro..
  • Kyocera violated Microsoft patent for 'not supporting windows phone'. It's the most valuable patent in Microsoft portfolio, Samsung pays billions a year in license fees.
  • Hmmm...may be that is why they are making Windows Phone.
  • BMG is not amused ^^
  • Go ahead MS
  • You don't attack your OEM partners when you have less than 4% market share worldwide and you need to grow this number desperately
  • Bs, it demonstrates respect, which is a two way street. So, if your neighbor borrowed your tv and agrees to pay you for each time they use it, you really wouldn't expect to get paid?...I mean, you could have put that TV to use somewhere else instead....
  • It's not attacking! It's making the law
  • Following, not making, but I get you
  • C'mon, it is a bad move, I know it's the law and all, but this won't help WP grow
  • MS has no choice...let one walk, they all will....
  • No way! One thing is patent agreement and other is OEM partnership!
  • Well, Kyo Cera Cera.
  • Thought I heard that name before
  • MS will get more money from the patent payback than the 20 windows phones Kyocera sells.
  • Yeah because the windows OS is free for devices 9" and under
  • Lol.....I think its 7", but all the same...
  • No one here would buy a Kyocera phone anyway and frankly I don't understand everyone's infatuation with bringing more device makers into the fold. They don't need them and at this point how has that worked out? How many third party manufacturers consistently make WP handsts and SUPPORT them? The only one with the potential to become one so far is HTC. Their recent upgrade to the 8x and porting of the M8 are promising but who knows how that'll pan out and again, they're the only one to even show signs of embracing the platform. MS has the brand, the capital and (with the Nokia acquisition) the resources to do exactly what Apple does. In fact theone constant throughout all of this has been solid build quality from ALL Lumia devices.
  • BLU has actually done a pretty decent job of supporting the Win HD with updates.
  • Blu clues...very true, good partner, updates and all....
  • What you're saying is true. The thing is Microsoft doesn't want to be "like Apple", they want an environment more in line with what Google has. Which of the two has larger market share? Again you are right about Microsoft and Lumias but that's just the way things are now. Microsoft wants change, for other major companies to embrace their mobile platform and step up their support in the same way they have themselves. They are taking step to create that change. I believe they will succeed.
  • Remember the prototype?
    It will stay a prototype. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No, now it might actually get produced and supported .
  • Pay or do a wp Device :)
    Well done, Microsoft.
  • You good go what you gotta do. Rock on Microsoft.
  •    Looks like WP users are going to get that ruggedized Kyocera device after all. How so? I figure that Kyocera will settle with Microsoft and and as part of the settlement, release a WP10 device with Onedrive, etc. and all parties will be satisfied.
  • They will figure this one out and move on.  Probably nothing much to see here.
  • It's like the nice folks at Microsoft didn't realize Kyocera has a Windows Phone in its portfolio...
    That is not to say, their patent claims aren't valid; but they should act a little more sensible when it concerns ODMs who are actually willing to use Windows Phone.
    Look at Samsung on the contrary: Both Microsoft and Samsung boast they have sorted out their legal issues. Still Samsung has nothing to share in regard to new Windows Phones (although they said before, solving the litigation would be a prerequisite to release new, almost completely developed Windows Phones).
  • This lawsuit and making Windows Phonde devices have nothing to do with each other. Fact is, you use someone's technology, you pay. End of story!!!! Most companies stall making payment, as this means more interest earned on the money they have. When a lawsuit is filed, it shuffles through the courts, and then the offending company makes the payment. This is standard practice for business.... If you tend to hold a grudge about this, it's not good for business, and most companies do not take it seriously. It's part of being in the global economy If you are Google, then the opposite is true. You stall and whine and moan, then refuse to play with the other kids, because Daddy told you off!!! At the moment Google hold a lot of cards, but the way they conduct business is remembered by all who deal with them.... It's only a matter of time before the colossus falls, and the cracks have begun to show......