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Sendo sues Microsoft over ‘secret plan’

MS 'stole' our technology

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Sendo today confirmed that it has filed a suit against Microsoft in a US federal suit, accusing the software giant of stealing its technology and customers.

Sendo last month pulled its Microsoft Z100 Smartphone, just days from launch. At the time it said it had 'no choice'.

Reuters has the inside track on the case. It quotes people 'familiar with the court proceedings' that Sendo may claim hundreds of millions of dollars in damages - the Birmingham, UK phone designer reckons it lost a $300m annual revenue stream by parting from Microsoft, a shareholder in the company.

Reuters has also seen or obtained a copy of the Sendo filing, from whence this extract comes.

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

"Microsoft used Sendo's knowledge and expertise to its benefit to gain direct entry into the burgeoning next-generation mobile phone market and then, after driving Sendo to the brink of bankruptcy, cut it out of the picture," the filings said.

This information was passed onto low-cost manufacturers in Asia, Sendo alleges. The first Microsoft Smartphone launched in Europe was the Orange SUV, built by Taiwanese firm HTC. It will be interesting to see if this deal is dragged into the case.

Sendo will now develop a smartphone based on the Symbian OS. But this will take many months, and money that the privately-held company hasn't got and furthermore, will find difficult to raise. ®

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