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Microsoft sued by Visto for patent infringement

Yet another patent infringement case is in the news. This time it is Visto that is suing Microsoft. Visto, the mobile e-mail company, alleges that Bill Gates’ behemoth is infringing on their patents dealing with the support of e-mail on mobile devices. The company wants a permanent injunction to stop Microsoft from “misappropriating” technology developed by Visto 10 years ago. Microsoft has yet to reply to the charges.

Visto is a privately held company who has an impressive list of customers which includes Vodafone, Cingular and Sprint Nextel. In an interesting twist, this legal action comes just one day after the announcement that Visto, who competes directly with RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry, has signed a licensing agreement with NTP. NTP is the company that is involved in a bitter patent infringement case with RIM that threatens RIM’s existing business in the U.S. The timing of the two announcements is most likely coincidental, but it is still quite interesting.

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