Microsoft wins one, loses six in initial ITC ruling on patent suit against Motorola

Microsoft wins one, loses six in initial ITC ruling on patent suit against Motorola
An ITC judge has made an initial ruling on 7 patents that Microsoft claims were illegally used by Motorola Mobility. The judge said that Motorola devices infringe on one of Microsoft's patents, essentially invalidating the claim for the other six. A final ruling from the entire commission will be released before April 20th, 2012. After the final decision is made, there is a 60 day period of review by President Obama. The patent deals with a program called ActiveSync which is used throughout the wireless mobile industry and is licensed by manufacturer's including Apple and also by Google.

Earlier this year, Microsoft started off its case against Motorola at the ITC by claiming infringement on patents relating to the battery charge indicator and email sync. Microsoft late last year sought to ban certain Motorola models from being sold in the States. Those models were The Motorola Droid 2, Motorola Droid X, Motorola Cliq XT, Motorola Devour, Motorola Backflip and Motorola Charm. These names give away how long ago the suit was filed as most of those models are no longer actively sold by carriers in the States.

Using the "best defense is a great offense" technique, Motorola's press release says that Microsoft continues to infringe on patents in Motorola's huge patent portfolio and in fact, has active litigation against the Redmond based company in different venues including the ITC and will continue to press these complaints. Scott Offer, Motorola Mobility's senior vice president and general counsel said that the company is happy that the majority of the rulings were in Motorola Mobility's favor.

This is the second straight day where the ITC ruled that some features of phones running Google's open source OS are using unlicensed technology belonging to other companies. David Howard, General Counsel for Microsoft said that as Samsung, Acer and HTC have found out, respecting other firm's intellectual property is the best way to do business. On Monday, the entire ITC ruled that HTC had violated patents belonging to Apple.

Like HTC's comments yesterday about a workaround that would eliminate the need to license Apple's technology, there is talk about Motorola removing the offending software from its phones. Still, with just about every handset manufacturer suing each other in a legal daisy chain, settlement talks might be the best way to solve these patent battles.

source: Motorola, Bloomberg

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12 Comments

1. chadrick0814 unregistered

Smart Microsoft, sue the only major android OEM that doesn't carry WP. If you sued HTC or Samsung then they'd drop you bland appless OS and you'd be stuck with Nokia......and finished.

2. stealthd unregistered

Microsoft doesn't need to sue, Samsung and HTC already pay them for every Android phone they sell.

9. Skoll

Posts: 15; Member since: Dec 15, 2011

actualy Microsoft did sue Samsung and HTC but they cut a deal with paying a 10-15$ per every android smartphone they sold.

3. xiobnb

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

thanks to the apple ..the world has gone stupid ...suing each others ass

4. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Microsoft and apple vs the world! lol

5. DrMoto

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

You don't mess with Moto!

6. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

In the end all these patent battles will hurt the consumer because we'll have to pay more for the products they want us to buy. I heard Apple got a patent for multitasking on smart phones that one has a chance to revoked because before the Apple Iphone was on the market the previous smartphones had multitasking

7. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

The Motorola and Microsoft dispute was actively present even before this lawsuit, as Motorola was suing Microsoft for the Xbox 360 slim wifi adapter.

8. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Is there any way we can get everyone to loose every case so we can move on? I am not sure what parts of the patents Microsoft owns that are part of the licensing deals with all the other Android OEM's, but these can not be the same. As I am a Windows fan, you would think I would be defending the honor of Microsoft. However, since I am a Mobile fan first, I hope this and every suite whose purpose it is to ban a device falls flat on it's face. I do not care how old they are. Complete failure. That is what I am cheering for. By the way, I am getting a little tired of companies proclaiming their innocence and then being so pure as the driven snow they prove it by counter suing. I know it is how the game is played, but if you are really guilt free, why are you not just proving it in court and be done with it? Most likely reason: You ain't as pure as the driven snow. Feel better now. Thank the Good Lord for places to vent.

11. atheisticemetic

Posts: 377; Member since: Dec 18, 2011

^ glad someone said it. is asking them to grow up too much to ask? ;)

10. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

If Google has licensed the patent MS won on, and with Moto being a subsidiary of Google, doesn't Moto get covered by the Google license?

12. lukasound

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

That's what i thought :) But i guess it's because in the time those phones were released, Google didn't own Motorola yet...

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