In today’s episode of the patent wars, it seems Microsoft has finally proven they’re ready to get serious. Standing before the US International Trade Commission today, Microsoft has requested a ban on all imports of Motorola smartphones. The company claims Motorola devices infringe upon seven different patents Microsoft controls.
The filing includes everything from contact management and email synchronization to a “way to alert applications of a change in signal strength and battery power.” While the list of affected devices does include the Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Backflip and Charm, even some Motorola-branded features phones would be included in the ban should it pass.
A recent article on Bloomberg points out there are at least 18 key patents in Motorola’s portfolio that should keep the patent trolls at bay. First used in three lawsuits against Apple in 1994, the patents include “technology essential to the mobile-device industry, including location services, antenna designs, e-mail transmission, touch-screen motions, software-application management and third-generation wireless.”
Since a wide range of Motorola’s Android devices are included in the claim, this one decision could be a determining factor in how the rest of the patent wars will play out. If Motorola’s patents aren’t enough to stop Microsoft on the most basic of claims, Google’s acquisition will have essentially meant nothing.