UK court invalidates Motorola patents

It is starting to look like the mobile patent war between Google and Apple is grinding to a halt.

Already Apple’s key patents have been identified as being copies of prior art, and now it appears that some of Motorola’s could be going the same way.

The High Court in London has issued a ruling that said that one of Motorola’s patents covering technology to synchronise messages across several devices should be invalidated. Originally, the patent covered the synching of messages across multiple pagers, but recently Motorola has used the patent in lawsuits against Apple and Microsoft for using similar message-syncing services in iCloud and on the Xbox, respectively.

But Judge Richard Arnold declared Motorola’s patent invalid and said it should be revoked because the patent contained technology that “was obvious to experts in the field at the time.” The case against Motorola was brought by Microsoft, which “filed the lawsuit against Motorola Mobility in London a year ago in a pre-emptive bid to invalidate the patent before it could be sued for infringement.”

It will strengthen Microsoft’s case in Germany. Motorola is currently in the process of suing Microsoft over this patent in Germany.

Motorola has also sued Apple in a German court for infringing on the same pager patent that was ruled invalid today. But in that case Motorola’s patent was upheld and the court barred Apple from pushing e-mail to German iCloud and MobileMe users.