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Microsoft Corp v Motorola Mobility LLC [2013] EWCA Civ 1613

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  11 December 2013


Richard Meade QC and James Abrahams recently appeared for Microsoft, the successful respondents to an appeal brought by Motorola, represented by Daniel Alexander QC and Tim Powell.

Motorola’s appeal was from the judgment of Arnold J [2012] EWHC 3677 (pat) revoking its European patent relating to the status synchronisation of multiple mobile devices, and dismissing its claim for infringement thereof.

Motorola argued that the learned judge had been wrong in his interpretation of claim 1 of the patent. Arnold J had rejected Motorola’s construction of “responsive to” in a mobile messaging context as being limited only to “push” systems rather than also including “polling” systems.

Dismissing the appeal, and affirming Arnold J’s findings on construction of claim 1, The Chancellor of the High Court, with whom Jackson and Kitchin LLJ agreed, held that there was nothing in the patent which clearly pointed to any intention to limit claim 1 only to push type communications. The patent was directed to both a paging engineer and an email engineer. At the time of its publication the standard operation of email systems was on a polling basis. Accordingly the wider interpretation of claim 1 by the court below was entirely consistent with the principals of interpretation approved in Kirin-Amgen.