Two Related Tales of Market Reaction to IP News

On Friday we learned Microsoft is suing Motorola for patent infringement, citing 9 patents (synching email and calendars, notifying subscribers of changes in signal strength and battery power, etc.). MOT took a 3% hit in its trading price.

In an undoubtedly NOT unrelated matter, Goldman Sachs downgraded MSFT stock, citing weaknesses in the mobile smart phone market, referring to Microsoft’s loss of market share to Google’s Android software and Apple’s iPhone and iPad.  As a result, MSFT experienced a 2% haircut. 

It’s all about IP. Whoever owns the rights, that there is substantial value is clear. To the owner go the “spoils.” It’s unusual to see Microsoft on the accuser’s side … but the monster award against RIMM has everyone taking a hard look at what they own, and what they need to protect. From here, it looks suspiciously as if Microsoft is validating the GS claim that they are losing the battle … and that it is, indeed, a critical battle. Defending their IP against alleged infringement is probably just one tactic of many we’ll see in the coming months.