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Visto Sues Microsoft for Patent Infringement

A California-based company, Visto, has sued Microsoft, charging that it's infringing on three of Visto's decade-old patents for push email and related mobile technologies. Visto is a wireless email technology supplier that recently formed an alliance with Research In Motion (RIM) competitor NTP. (NTP is suing RIM, the leading supplier of mobile email solutions, for patent infringement.) Visto says that Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 software for mobile devices infringes on Visto's patents for mobile email synchronization, remote access, and security.


Visto is seeking an immediate and permanent injunction to force Microsoft to stop distributing Windows Mobile 5.0 software. The company is also seeking unspecified damages. Visto charges that Microsoft's recent decision to include Windows Mobile 5.0-compatible push email technology with Microsoft Exchange Server was illegal product bundling, similar to bundling Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Windows Media Player with Windows.


Microsoft has yet to make an official comment on the suit, beyond acknowledging that it's looking into the charges. "Microsoft stands behind its products and respects the intellectual property rights of others," a Microsoft spokesperson said. However, Visto executives say that Microsoft is well aware of Visto's technology, because the two companies worked together in 2004 to jointly market Visto's mobile email products.

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