Microsoft asks US court to ban Kyocera's Android phones

Kyocera is alleged to have infringed on seven Microsoft patents

Microsoft has asked a court in Seattle to ban Kyocera's DuraForce, Hydro and Brigadier lines of cellular phones in the U.S., alleging that they infringed seven Microsoft patents.

The software giant has in its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington charged that some Kyocera phone features that come from its use of the Android operating system infringe its patents.

Microsoft has previously claimed that Android infringes some of its patents, and offered a licensing program to vendors of handsets running the operating system. A number of vendors including Samsung Electronics, HTC, ZTE, LG Electronics and Hon Hai have signed such licensing deals with Microsoft.

In its complaint, Microsoft alleged that some of the features of the Kyocera smartphones infringe patents the software company holds in the areas of power management for enhanced battery life, "self-aware" devices that respond to changes in the user's surroundings, text messaging and doing multiple tasks on a computing device at the same time.

Kyocera could not be immediately reached for comment.

Microsoft has asked for damages and an injunction on the import and sale in the U.S. of the Kyocera phones. It has asked for a trial by jury.

The Kyocera phones are offered in the U.S. through operators like Verizon and AT&T and retail chains like Walmart and Best Buy.

Microsoft said in the complaint it brought the case to "vindicate its rights and to protect its substantial investment in research and development." The company and Samsung recently settled a dispute over payment of royalties, but the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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