ITC rules in Microsoft's favor, prevents U.S. import ban of Lumia handsets

ITC rules in Microsoft's favor, prevents U.S. import ban of Lumia handsets
Microsoft, facing a possible U.S. import ban for its Lumia smartphones, received good news Friday from the International Trade Commission. The ITC decided not to enforce a decision made by a trial judge last April, that ruled in favor of patent troll Interdigital. Microsoft was found to have used two of Interdigital's standards-essential patents without permission. The trial judge recommended that Microsoft's Lumia devices supporting 3G connectivity be banned from entry into the U.S.

Interdigital Chief Executive Officer William Merritt took a parting shot at Microsoft after expressing his disappointment at the ITC's ruling. The decision not to support the import ban would have limited repercussions, Merritt said, "given the decline of the Nokia mobile device business under Microsoft’s control and its limited market position."

Because the patents in question are standards-essential, pricing to use them is supposed to be fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND). Microsoft's argument with Interdigital revolves around how much the patent troll is seeking to license the patents. But the argument over pricing is a moot point since the ITC ruled on Friday that Microsoft did not infringe on Interdigital's patents. Having made that decision, the ITC did not bother to make a ruling on whether Interdigital was adhering to FRAND pricing on its standards-essential patents.  

A Microsoft spokesmen commented that the company was "grateful the Commission stopped InterDigital from trying to block our products."

source: Reuters

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