May 20 AT 2:48 PM Sean Riley 11 Comments

Motorola devices could face US importation ban following ITC ruling on Microsoft patent

lego-lawyer-gun-briefcase Image via: pasukaru76 with Creative Commons

Hot on the heels of US customs imposing an International Trade Commission ban on select HTC devices we have yet another exclusion order from the ITC, but this time around it’s Microsoft winning their patent claim against Motorola.

The patent in question dates back to 1998 and relates to scheduling a meeting with a group using a mobile device and having that event sync across mobile devices and PCs. As with many of these claims this sounds like fairly ridiculous feature to be able to patent, but the key is always in the exact implementation of the feature so it’s possible that Motorola will be able to come up with another way of handling the function (that is the tactic HTC employed in their case).

As you may recall from the HTC ruling this exclusion order doesn’t have any immediate ramifications for consumers as first the order goes to President Obama, who has 60 days to overturn the ruling should he so desire. My understanding is that the likelihood of this is just slightly higher than the next iPhone running Jelly Bean. Motorola also indicated that they may seek to appeal the ruling which would further delay an actual ban being put in place.

For Motorola the immediate repercussions are that they must pay Microsoft 33 cents per device during the 60 day review period with the President. A per device licensing fee is one of the potential resolutions to this matter and likely the option that Microsoft would prefer considering they are already pulling in licensing fees from the majority of Android manufacturers.

With Google finally receiving the necessary approval in China for the Motorola acquisition there may well be a different legal team at the helm for this matter by the time the 60 day review period is up — whether that will result in a different strategy going forward is anyone’s guess at the moment, but we’ll be keeping a careful eye on this one as the summer progresses.

Via: The Verge

Source: Reuters

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 5 years and covering mobile for the last 6. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • Bryan Stoner

    This is just like the kid down the street getting bullied for having the most candy on the block. No matter how I look at this it’s purely a frustrating matter to witness.

  • JayB95

    Another day another patent claim. What else is new??

  • haters on the rocks

    Cellphone being ban from the us or anywhere is being ridiculous its all about competition yeah they might have cross the pantent but just change it no big deal I think.

  • Sanyo M1

    As ridiculous as this and HTC situations are, I don’t feel bad about this happening to Motorola at all. They deserve it, for shit support of the countless “flagships” they release only to abandon them three weeks later. Them not following through on the bootloader issue is also why don’t care for this.

    I know this whole patents situation is BS, but this couldn’t happen to a better company that doesn’t care about its customers.

    • tojen

      Flagship phones? Moto hasn’t had top-end phone on at&t for over a year now(atrix4g). With the exception of verizon, moto is way overdue to put out a flagship phone on any major carrier.

      If anything, Id say moto has a problem with rehashing old designs to try to make a quick buck aka the droid line last year.

    • tojen

      sorry, didnt catch the sarcasm first time around. disregard my last comment.

  • inviolable

    I’m surprised a company hasn’t filed for a patent to make phone calls on a mobile multimedia device at this point. It would probably be granted.

    • Sean Riley

      You might just have something there. I’d go broader though.

      Patent #666,666,666: Using a device with a cellular or wireless radio in order to communicate with other people, places or things.

  • JSP

    After this:

    Motorola can go F&$K off. I hope they get more devices banned, or have to pay Microsoft for every device sold.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Verizon and Motorola BOTH SUCK MAJOR BALLS.

  • aranea

    Somebody has to do something with these patent issues. They are giving patents right and left for anything you can think of. It’s done under the pretense of that’s good for the customer because companies can improve their devices but right now it’s hindering competition. Therefore, it’s worse for the customer.