Mobile phone maker Sendo sues Microsoft

British mobile phone manufacturer Sendo Holdings PLC has filed suit against Microsoft Corp. in a U.S. federal court.

Sendo Holdings PLC, of Birmingham, England, Sendo Ltd., Sendo International Ltd., and Sendo America Inc., filed suit Friday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Texarkana, Texas, seeking a jury trial against Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Washington, Microsoft Licensing Inc. and Microsoft Capital Corp.

“We believe the allegations are serious and substantial,” said Sendo spokeswoman Marijke van Hooren.

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.

She refused to give further details of the complaint, referring to the court filing. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint obtained by IDG News Service indicates that Sendo is charging Microsoft with using false promises of partnerships to deliver the Microsoft Smartphone platform to gain access to Sendo’s mobile phone expertise.

After gaining access to Sendo’s mobile phone experts and technologies, Microsoft then passed on Sendo’s proprietary hardware expertise and trade secrets to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that would release their own phones, competing with Sendo’s technology, the complaint alleges.

In essence, Microsoft used Sendo’s knowledge and expertise to launch its own entry into the mobile phone market, Sendo alleged in its complaint.

Sendo recently abandoned plans to produce a smart phone, the Z100, based on Microsoft’s Windows Powered Smartphone software, preferring instead to use software licensed from Nokia Corp. of Espoo, Finland.

The Z100 will now never see the light of day because Sendo terminated its license for Microsoft’s software, Van Hooren said.

Microsoft is an investor in Sendo, with a holding of less than 5 per cent, according to Van Hooren..