Microsoft files patent suit against 'abusive' InterDigital

Microsoft HQ

Microsoft is ramping up its patent fight with InterDigital Inc by filing a lawsuit in the US courts.

The latest match-up in the long patent battle between the two sees Microsoft accusing InterDigital of flouting US antitrust law by not keeping a promise to properly license technology essential for mobile communications, according to Reuters.

Microsoft claims that InterDigital "falsely promised" to license patents on a reasonable basis and then charged exorbitant amounts to Microsoft to use the patents. the Redmond-based firm went on to say that these "abusive licensing practices" over the patents violate federal anti-monopoly laws.

The suit also complains that InterDigital is using the prospect of a import ban related to another court case in order to get Microsoft to pay the price it thinks is right for the technology that it is licensing.

That aforementioned court case will see the US International Trade Commission issue a ruling next month on whether Microsoft should be banned from importing smartphones into the US due to infringement of two InterDigital patents.

Triple those damages

The ITC judge has already stated that there is evidence Microsoft used "reverse patent holdup". This is what happens when a company uses technology covered by a patent but then refuses to pay up.

When it comes to a settlement in the new case brought by Microsoft, it is asking for the court to triple any damages it awards and stipulate that InterDigital cease enforcing patents. As with any patent dispute, this one looks set for the long haul.