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Microsoft sues U.S. Customs over failure to enforce Motorola phone ban

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Microsoft sues U.S. Customs over failure to enforce Motorola phone ban
Back in May 2012, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an import ban on Motorola devices due to an infringement on a patent that Microsoft holds related to how a device synchronizes its calendar events with other computers.

Microsoft is suing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, alleging that the agency had secret meetings with Google and proceeded to allow Motorola devices continue to enter the country even though nothing has been done to address the patent violation at the center of the ITC ruling.

Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, David Howard said, “Customs has a clear responsibility to carry out ITC decisions, which are reached after a full trial and rigorous legal review. Here Customs repeatedly ignored its obligation and did so based on secret discussions.”

Google has responded with its own counter argument that U.S. Customs rejected Microsoft’s attempts to broaden the scope of its patent claims. Microsoft named DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in its complaint as well. The Department of Homeland Security is the agency that oversees Customs. Secretary Napolitano announced that she is resigning her post to take a job with the University of California. The ITC order is in effect until August 2018 and is under appeal. Those arguments will be heard this summer.

What is interesting about this is that it appears Customs made its own decisions about a ruling from another regulatory body, and this past June, Customs announced its decision to continue allowing Motorola devices to enter the country. What is also interesting is that it looks like a number of Motorola devices will start being made in Texas in the near future. Any lawyers in the house want to talk about how imports will suddenly not be an issue any more?

Microsoft is seeking a court ruling to compel Customs to adhere to the ITC’s order. Of course, if the ITC’s ruling did not cover the scope of Motorola devices that were not imported, this issue may be short-lived, or we will see a whole new litigation drama begin to unfold.

source: Bloomberg

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posted on 13 Jul 2013, 03:03

1. drum009 (Posts: 33; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)

hahaha! there wasn't a "secret meeting" because obviously the whole world know about it now!!! Besides, Customs and Border Patrol Agents do whatever they want.... Even local police and sheriffs let them speed 90+mph when off duty and in their personal cars. I know this as a personal fact. I live in a city where any direction you drive more into the USA you pass a Check Point. Seeing CB Agents on a daily basis is a common and familiar occurrence as seeing local PD.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 04:00

2. MartianMe (unregistered)

Wow!!..I can see it now ....future wars are going to be about cellphones ..this kind of sh1t only happens in the mobile industry created by apple...

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 05:26

3. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

I don't get it. Were ALL Motorola phones supposed to be banned?

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 08:37

9. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

What's not to get?

posted on 14 Jul 2013, 02:05

23. ojdidit84 (Posts: 458; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)

If you'd stop trolling (every Apple, MS, Nokia vs "insert android OEM here"), you'd realize that he means whether just certain Moto handsets were banned, or whether ALL Moto handsets were banned.

That's what not to get...

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 12:11 3

16. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

If you are MS, you are wanting all Moto devices to be banned. I suspect the meetings between Moto and Customs showed Customs how the phones being imported did not have the infringing hardware/software, and so Customs let the devices in.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 07:35 4

4. Dorothy69 (banned) (Posts: 498; Member since: 21 May 2013)

Microsoft = The New Apple (wanna' be)

Hello, U.S. Border Protection Agency can't even keep out people sneaking in from Mejico (waaaaaaaaaaaay) and coming into the U.S. to take advantage of the U.S. Government's freebies:
1. Free Public Welfare
2. Free Public Housing
3. Free Health Care (undocumented people only)
4. Free Section 8
5. Free W.I.C.
6. Free Education

So, how the heck are they going to keep out Motorola phones??????!!!!

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 07:38 3

5. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

M$ just as bad as Apple. I'll be very puss if they try too ban our X PHONE.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 13:40

19. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

I'll be very piss off.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 07:41 3

6. taikucing (unregistered)

stupid MS

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 07:53 3

7. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

The Silver lining in this whole thing is that it only covers IMPORTED devices. So if thismeans more jobs for the middle class... Thank you M$.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 09:54 3

11. zennacko (Posts: 237; Member since: 16 Jun 2013)

Imported devices only... as if anything is really manufactured in the US...

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 10:39 1

13. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Very true. The only things made here nowadays are fast food and diabetes unfortunately. But one company will have to come back, part of it at least. Lol!

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 08:37 2

8. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

If it violates the copyright, it should be banned.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 08:59

10. joey_sfb (Posts: 6613; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


posted on 13 Jul 2013, 13:02 3

17. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4784; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

So if Motorola violates copyright, it should be banned. Apple gets found violating patents (iphone4 & ipad2) but that's okay because there's no way Apple could have done such a thing. All of these companies have there problems, even Apple. If you could admit that it might make you appear more credible.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 16:20

21. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

But if it's a patent Motorola needs to work, isn't it automatically FRAND? And thus, shouldn't Microsoft let Motorola use its patents for absolutely nothing?

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 10:05 1

12. kushki (Posts: 49; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Evil Google!!!

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 13:41 3

20. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

Evil M$

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 10:52

14. felisberto (Posts: 34; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

the lawsuit like Apple own rounded corners against samsung.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 11:02 2

15. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Why does it seem that the tech companies in America are always at each other's throats? Yeah, I'm sure Samsung and HTC may have a lawsuit or two against each other... But here in the US, these companies are always trying to ban products. Microsoft wants Moto devices banned, Apple wants ANYTHING Google banned, can't think of an occasion where Google has Gone after any company, but I'm sure they have done it as well. Point is, every tech company here wants to have a monopoly, but none are willing to earn it by making a truely superior product to their competitors. Concentrate on making good products and while your competitor is trying to copy your old stuff, consumers will be upgrading to the new.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 13:13 3

18. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4784; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


It just seems the whole concept of "compete on the sales floor" is gone. They can't even market there own stuff without taking shots at their competition. What all these companies should be doing is showing you what their product can do, and leaving the comparisons to reviewers & consumers.

Also while I'm not saying that they shouldn't protect their IP, the things these guys are suing over is getting ridiculous. I'm waiting for the courts to say enough because the mobile industry seems to think the court system is their personal mediator. There are plenty of others who need to use the court system as well, and some of their suits are probably more deserving of the court's time than these tech companies getting into a pissing match.

posted on 13 Jul 2013, 18:25

22. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)

Good luck on your endeavor MS. The next Moto phone is made in the US and you can't do jack s**t about banning that through the ITC.

posted on 14 Jul 2013, 05:56

24. Leo_MC (Posts: 2694; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)

I love internet lawyers!
This is a list of comments that underlines the masses stupidity.
It's so easy to talk about MS money but if Motorola were to come into this "lawyers" houses, dress in their underwear, drink their beer and put their Johnsons into their wives vagina, it would be a totaly different storry...
A theft is a theft, dear masses, no matter how much you hate the one being stolen from, a theft remains a theft.
The bottom line is that Google and Motorola stole intelectual property from Microsoft and they should be punished.

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