SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has won a patent dispute banning the import of some Motorola phones in the US.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) issued the notice on Friday, stating that Motorola had infringed one of Microsoft's patents for software that generates and schedules meeting requests on mobile devices.
Microsoft said that Motorola had infringed nine different patents, but the ITC only found one to be violated by the American phone manufacturer.
The ITC's notice noted, "The Commission has determined that the appropriate form of relief in this investigation is a limited exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry for consumption of mobile devices, associated software and components covered by claims 1, 2, 5, or 6 of the United States Patent No. 6,370,566...that are manufactured abroad...or imported by Motorola."
A Motorola spokesperson said that the firm was "disappointed" by the ITC's ruling, adding that it "looks forward to reading the full opinion to understand its reasoning".
Motorola is exploring its options, including the possibility of appeal.
Corporate VP and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, David Howard told The INQUIRER, “Microsoft sued Motorola in the ITC only after Motorola chose to refuse Microsoft’s efforts to renew a patent license for well over a year.”
“We’re pleased the full Commission agreed that Motorola has infringed Microsoft’s intellectual property, and we hope that now Motorola will be willing to join the vast majority of Android device makers selling phones in the US by taking a license to our patents.”
Patents litigator at law firm Taylor Wessing, Kathleen Fox Murphy, told The INQUIRER that it is possible Motorola might not alter the software in the phones in order to obey the ban.
"With patents like this, what tends to happen is they are eventually settled by licensing where [Motorola and Microsoft] will come to some kind of agreement on licensing or cross-licensing of the patents. What Microsoft is wanting out of this is for Motorola to take licensing of its patent," she said.
Earlier this month, a German court ruled that Microsoft had infringed two Motorola patents relating to the H.264 compression standard. The decision was made that the Redmond-based software house must cease distribution of its Xbox 360 console and Windows 7 operating system both online and in stores in Germany. µ
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