Microsoft files patent case against TomTom over infringements

News by Dan Raywood

Microsoft has filed a patent case against the TomTom sat nav device.

Microsoft has filed a patent case against the TomTom sat nav device.


TomTom, which features an operating system developed by Linux, has had the patent filed against it in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and in the International Trade Commission (ITC) for infringement against several Microsoft patents.


Microsoft is seeking to gain an order that bans TomTom from importing and the sale of its GPS devices into the United States, after long claiming that Linux infringes on several of its patents.   


The bulk of the patents Microsoft claims to have been infringed relate to technologies that the software giant patented during the development of its MapPoint navigation software and Auto system for in-car communications and entertainment.


These include patents for an ‘open platform architecture' for vehicle computing systems, the associated user interface of such a system, wireless connectivity and algorithms around generating driving directions.


Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft, said: “We have an established intellectual property licensing program, and the patents involved in this case, relating to innovations in car navigation technology and other computing functionality, have been licensed by many others.


“In situations such as this, when a reasonable business agreement cannot be reached, we have no choice but to pursue legal action to protect our innovations and our partners who license them.”


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