According to an exclusion order issued by the ITC, some of Motorola Mobility's smartphone devices are in violation of four claims in a Microsoft patent related to scheduling meetings in a calendar. The specifics really aren't important - basically, the ITC found that Motorola infringed a Microsoft patent related to mobile software for creating and sending meeting invitations.

Motorola and Google had argued that an exclusionary order banning the import of offending Motorola devices wasn't in the public interest, but the judge didn't buy it. More importantly, it's unclear exactly which Motorola devices fall under the scope of the exclusionary order, which should go into effect roughly 60 days from now. This probably isn't enough time to cause device supplies to go uninterrupted, but then again, Motorola isn't exactly selling them by the pallet-full here in the US lately - the DROID RAZR really being the company's only truly popular smartphone.

However, as HTC has learned, it may not matter whether your phones actually violate the patents cited in ITC orders, so much as whether US Customs decides they want to "investigate" them. Most likely, US Customs will give Motorola the same treatment it has given HTC once the order goes into effect and err on the side of "caution" - if we get that far, that is.

Motorola does have one option here: settle. While the Google-Motorola deal isn't officially closed yet (China is lagging on approval), I'm sure there's plenty of closed-door discussion going on about what conceding to Microsoft's patent claims would mean for Google's image. If Motorola settles, other would-be patent trolls may start coming out of the woodwork looking for a piece of the action, and Google's other hardware partners probably wouldn't be thrilled, either. Of course, Samsung, LG, and HTC already have licensing deals with Microsoft - Motorola is the last major holdout.

Personally, I see this ending in settlement, Motorola is already lagging behind the smartphone curve, and with the Google merger still up in the air, the company doesn't want any more financial uncertainty than it already has. Check out the source link for more.

FOSSPatents, ITC Order

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://twitter.com/physicalist09 Physicalist

    AFAIK MM is contractually obliged not to settle until Google owns it. Of course Google would have to pay a lot of money to MM if the deal is axed, which would certainly make up for any harm this ban could have.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      You're correct, but there's a lot of closed-door dealing that goes on in these sorts of cases, especially where the defendant's hands are tired. It's possible, even likely, Microsoft and Google are trying to work this out behind the scenes.

    • symbolset

      There will be no settlement because there's nothing to settle.  MM doesn't want to use any Microsoft patent, so they'll work around this one.  In the meantime they'll import as many devices as possible for two months and pay the $0.33 bond per device.  They save $14.67 per device doing so.

      Microsoft wants $15 per device.  More importantly they NEED to prove that Android OEMs must pay them - that they can refuse a license and block Android.  Microsoft needs to prove they have CONTROL.

      Google NEEDS to prove that Android OEMs don't have to settle with Microsoft - that Android cannot be stopped by Microsoft or anybody else.  They need to prove that control of progress cannot be achieved.

      And so the Microsoft vs MM global war will continue.  It's not about protecting investments in R&D, or money in some other way.  It's about control of the progress of mobile technology and neither side can afford to lose or settle.

  • fixxmyhead

    im actually happy cuz i really hate motorolas phones, nothing but garbage

    • FknTwizted

      What about Motorola phones you don't like? I have used them quite often and have been solid unlike other manufacturers.

      • fixxmyhead

        Ugly, "blocky" designs ,locked down, bunch of liars,stupid big ass camera hump at the top, 2 months later same phone with minor changes, Verizon phone, etc

        • Rich

          Blocky designs like LG, Sanding, and even Sony also make? Eh that's mostly subjective anyway
          Other than maybe the bootloaders(maybe) I don't think they've ever lied about nothing either. And they don't always release minor updates 2months later, the bronc was delayed by months and pushing the razr back would make them lose money. Other than that it only happened one with the Razr maxx, I think people need to just get over it.

          • fixxmyhead

            They lied when they said they would start unlocking bootloaders from now on which was like last year. And didn't they said the razr would receive ics like first quarter? Also I think there coming out with some razr HD in the near future. how many times can they redo that phone? The Droid 4 is basically a razor with a slide out keyboard.

        • Freak4Dell

          Can't reply to your last post, but how is Motorola redoing the RAZR any different than the multiple variations of the same phone that Samsung puts out, or HTC? Every flagship phone gets turned into a line...it's the nature of the business.

          • fixxmyhead

            Samsung yea u got a point but that damn razr phone gets reincarnated alot. Razr, razr max, DROID 4 is a razr with a keyboard, that hd razr coming out called the DROID fighter, then u got the xyboards or "razr tablets " Motorola should give that design a rest

    • ScottColbert

      That is so moronic, I can't even know whereto begin. Whether you like Moto phones or not it's bad for Android period. Get a grip.

      • fixxmyhead

        Yea i know but that's how much I hate Motorola.

  • fixxmyhead

    im actually happy cuz i really hate motorolas phones, nothing but garbage

  • Elias

    You see, this is why we can't have nice things. Fucking legal system is broken.

  • Sanchezm94

    Fuck itc they are outdated fools. Really

  • http://twitter.com/welcomezik piratesystem

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  • http://thebestsmartphone2012.com/ Best Smartphone

    Who's going to be next Apple vs Nokia ?? These patent wars are crazy and it is so true the Apple did steal Nokia Technology??