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Visto sues Microsoft for patent infringement

Wireless e-mail market sees yet more legal action.

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Visto is suing Microsoft for infringing its wireless e-mail patents.

The company is seeking a permanent injunction that would prohibit Microsoft from using technology Visto claims it helped develop nearly a decade ago. It also seeks unspecified monetary damages. The Microsoft product under scrutiny is Windows Mobile 5.0, which Visto has said contains "a blatant infringement on Visto's patented technology."

Visto CEO Brian Bogosian said of the lawsuit: "Microsoft has a long and well-documented history of acquiring the technology of others, branding it as their own, and entering new markets. 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."

The lawsuit is just another legal battle in the wireless e-mail market. Just yesterday, Visto agree to licence push e-mail patents from NTP. Those patents form the basis of a huge, ongoing legal battle between NTP and RIM - makers of the popular Blackberry.

Visto's software is used by carriers including Cingular, Sprint and Vodafone. It accuses Microsoft of infringing on three US patents in particular. Patent No. 6,085,192, titled "System And Method For Securely Synchronizing Multiple Copies Of A Workspace Element In A Network"; No. 6,708,221, "System And Method For Globally And Securely Accessing Unified Information In A Computer Network", and; No. 6,151,606, "System And Method For Using A Workspace Data Manager To Access, Manipulate And Synchronize Network Data."

Microsoft has yet to comment on the lawsuit.



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