Motorola is 'open' to developing Windows Phone 7 devices, but only if the OS proves compelling

In case you somehow missed it, Microsoft lodged a complaint with the ITC on Friday, alleging Motorola's Android smartphones infringed on nine of its precious patents. You might imagine that'd sting the pride of Moto's chief exec Sanjay Jha, but nothing could be further from the truth. Describing such turf wars over intellectual property as "part of business," Sanjay explains that his company is willing to work with Microsoft on developing a handset based around its new OS, so long as the offering is "compelling." He notes that the first call he received upon becoming co-CEO and handset division chief back in 2008 was from none other than Steve Ballmer, but Microsoft's failure to deliver a new OS in '09 is what compelled him to go the Android route (we doubt he regrets doing it, mind you!).

It's no coincidence to our eyes that Microsoft went after the one top-tier Android phone maker that didn't sign up to the Windows Phone 7 utopia project. We recall HTC was in hot water with the Redmond team back in April for similar reasons, and its resultant licensing of Microsoft's patents seems to have been embedded into the WP7 partner agreements -- which is why we're not seeing the likes of ASUS and Samsung being served with similar complaints. So basically, if things get too hot and steamy, Moto could just kick out a token Windows Phone handset, get the accompanying licenses in order, and this whole thing blows over nice and peacefully. Marvelous.