TomTom Sues Microsoft on Patent Infringement

Dutch navigation device maker TomTom has filed a countersuit against Microsoft Corp, accusing the U.S. company of violating three of its patents.
Posted March 20, 2009
By

- Reuters



NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dutch navigation device maker TomTom has filed a countersuit against Microsoft Corp, accusing the U.S. company of violating three of its patents.

The suit, filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the eastern district of Virginia, comes a few weeks after Microsoft filed a complaint against TomTom for violating its patents related to innovations in car navigational technology and other computing functionality.

The two companies had failed to reach a patent-licensing agreement after more than a year of talks.

TomTom's suit says Microsoft's Streets and Trips product violates three patents, namely "Generating a Maneuver at the Intersection Through A Turn Lane," "Route Generation in a Vehicle Navigation System" and "Quick Selection of Destinations in an Automobile Navigation System."

"I can confirm that we are suing," a spokesman for the Amsterdam-based company said, but declined to give more details.

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment. Its complaint against TomTom had been filed in a U.S. District Court in Washington and at the International Trade Commission.

Analysts have said the dispute could hang over TomTom for some time, although some also expect the two companies to eventually settle.

"Although it looks as though the legal battle is heating up, it is likely that the end result will have no or little impact on the business of TomTom," SNS analyst Martijn den Drijver said in a research note.

"It is our opinion that the most likely outcome is that both companies, in the end, will agree to use each other's patents in exchange for the lawsuits to be dropped."

TomTom shares were roughly flat at 3.44 euros from their previous close of 3.43 euros. Microsoft was at $17.15 in trading before the market opened, compared with Thursday's close of $17.14.

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