Sendo sues Microsoft over split

The smartphone saga continues as the UK-based phone designer files suit against Microsoft, accusing the software giant of stealing its technology.

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By  Justin Etheridge Published  December 28, 2002

In a further twist to the Sendo saga, the Birmingham-based UK phone manufacturer has filed a US federal suit against Microsoft, accusing the software giant of stealing its technology.

CHARGED magazine first assessed the Z100 Smartphone concept two months ago, ahead of its intended Middle East launch. But the product was pulled just days later, with Sendo spokesmen admitting they had ‘no choice'.

Reuters has since published a report detailing Sendo’s claim for damages; specifically, the mobile phone designer believes it has lost out on $300m annual revenue in the split from Microsoft.

“The court filings,” writes Reuters’ Lucas van Grinsven, “allege that Microsoft, in search of new growth markets but lacking mobile phone expertise, extracted crucial information about the industry from Sendo and passed it on to friendly low-cost contract manufacturers in Asia.”

Of course, the first Microsoft Smartphone launched in Europe was the Orange SUV, built by Taiwanese firm HTC.

"Microsoft's secret plan was to plunder the small company of its proprietary information, technical expertise, market knowledge, customers and prospective customers," says the court filing. "Microsoft gained Sendo's trust and confidence through false promises that Sendo would be its 'go-to-market-partner'."

Sendo now plans to develop its smartphone on the Symbian operating system, while Microsoft prepares its defense against the suit.

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