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Microsoft starts off its ITC patent case against Motorola asking for a ban on some Android handsets

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Microsoft starts off its ITC patent case against Motorola asking for a ban on some Android handsets
Citing an infringement on patents like email sync or the battery charge indicator, Microsoft led its case against Motorola's Android phones yesterday, asking the ITC judges to ban the imports of several phones in the US.

The legal spat between these two started late last year, when Microsoft accused Moto of kidnapping its patents "essential to the smartphone user experience", precisely "synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power".

The International Trade Commission seems to be the preferred venue for mobile industry patent wars these days, due to the much faster verdict process. The six Motorola Android phones that Microsoft asks to be banned from imports in the US are the Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Backflip and Charm, with the last four clearly indicating that the case has been filed last year, and not updated since.

Motorola opened a counter-case frontline with Redmond in its turn last year and, as usual, its spokesperson said it will be "vigorously defending" itself against the Microsoft onslaught. At least nobody used the phrase "vehemently deny" this time, for which we are grateful, and the whole thing will probably end up in cross-licensing or undisclosed amount of money exchanging hands. Now that Motorolans will be Googlers, this active lawsuit is also a stone in Larry Page's garden, so it will be interesting if the verdict will affect Android somehow.

source: Bloomberg

22 Comments
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posted on 23 Aug 2011, 09:08

1. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


Interseting...

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 09:08 3

2. quakan (Posts: 1176; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


Stupid...why ban phones that are already discontinued or soon to be discontinued?

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 10:43 2

12. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


go ahead and get the charm and devour banned microsoft!! lolol

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 09:12 4

3. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3981; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Wow This is like a disease. It's spreading faster than a wild fire. When will it end. I just can't take it anymore! I am going CRAZY! lol

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 09:13

4. protozeloz (Posts: 5374; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I hate phone banning but I wont actually miss those

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 09:14 1

5. gargoyle (Posts: 14; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)


the reason why is when the case started the phones where still relatively new, and if they win they can use that to go after the newer phones saying see we already won on these phones now block the rest

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 09:20 2

6. dandirk (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


Those patents seem like they could be over-broad. Syncing e-mail? The only way I could see this being a logical patent is if the sync is using some sort proprietary method of syncing.

I still don't understand why Apple and MS and looking to block products from individual companies, when just going after android would be a "blanket", effecting ALL android based phones. I suppose the only reason is the "ban" the product to negotiate a larger license fee, or encourage a settlement.

Patents in software field really need a revamp, a clear distinction of what is a valid patent is needed. Patenting "sync of e-mail" or "scheduling meetings" is just insane (if it really is that basic, haven't read the patents).

I think specific methods/API of performing those types of things can be patented but not the generic action. Aka if MS created a new communication engine (aka like smtp etc), then ok I will agree.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 09:44

7. bigdawg23 (Posts: 362; Member since: 25 May 2011)


What I find funny is the Syncing of Email. Moto Phones suck on syncing Exchange email, which MS seeks approval to use. Moto has a long list of complaints on there Forum about Exchange not working worth a lick. I experienced it with my Atrix and Droid X.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 10:05 2

8. Sniggly (Posts: 6920; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Go to hell, Microsoft.

On a related note, while I'm sure that the case is probably supposed to be a precedent setter, banning all of those phones wouldn't hurt Moto at all at this point.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 12:56 1

17. snowgator (Posts: 3205; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Yeah, but a horrid, damaging precedent. While I am a fan of the W7 devices, I hope Microsoft bombs hard on this. To ban any device would give some weight to other attacks on other devices, even on small infringements. Hoping for an out of court settlement like HTC and Microsoft have, and Samsung is negotiating with MS. No one wins if something like this even delays products, much less bans.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 13:31 1

19. Sniggly (Posts: 6920; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I agree completely that it would be a horrible precedent to set. It's just funny that the ban asked for is a group of phones that aren't being sold anymore.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 19:02

22. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


thats probably so the judge finds it easier to set the precident to begin with. Much easier to say "ban" to phones that arent being sold and set up the pitch for real phones down the line, than to take apple's approach and say "ban everything non iOS now!"

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 10:07 3

9. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Hopefully this will give people a sense of reality about the legal system. Its not just apple doing this stuff. Its all a bargaining tool.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 11:25

13. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I remember MS doing this already recently. The HTC case is one. I remember years ago I thought Linux was in trouble when MS was talking about going after Linux as a whole.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 10:16

10. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


Before Android I had a WP6.5 and let me say syncing was nothing like it is on Android. And as for mass data transfer, what about Kodak and their system to transfer photos via wire from camera to computer, I believe it was in place before windows data sync.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 10:26 1

11. waveydavey (unregistered)


The problem of patents extends far beyond the mobile world. There are whole businesses whose models are based on purchasing patents, only to turn around and sue any-and-everyone who has a service or product that even remotely resemble the "protected ideas/products". Reform of patent law is the only solution.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 17:41

21. biscutbob (Posts: 82; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


thumbs up man the whole patent system need to be redone it is abused and not only in our country..

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 11:35

14. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6380; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


just like M$ being greedy as usual. I'm sure they only want Motorola to make a Windows phone but too late they bought by GOOGLE sorry M$ your Windows 7 phone FAILED. You're just as greedy as APPLE when it comes to patens

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 12:32 1

15. gallitoking (Posts: 4684; Member since: 17 May 2011)


damm my Droid X... ???? ohh hell no.. now Moto has a sugar daddy called Google... not that easy anymore Microsoft...

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 12:52 1

16. snowgator (Posts: 3205; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Some of these phones are still used by "second tier" carriers for Smartphone options. For instance, there is a local carrier called Cellular One in my area in which the Backflip and Charm (along with the not mentioned Flip Out) are still pushed. I am sure these are not huge money makers, but they are still in use.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 12:59 4

18. NeXoS (Posts: 278; Member since: 03 May 2011)


The hand held computer (aka, mobile phone) industry could advance so much faster if it weren't for these idiotic patent wars!

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 16:49 1

20. christianqwerty (Posts: 460; Member since: 05 May 2011)


apple & microsoft VS google ;D

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