U.S. Says Will Bar Some Motorola Mobility Phones

Published May 18, 2012

| Reuters

Some Motorola Mobility smartphones infringe on a Microsoft patent and will be barred from importation in to the United States, a U.S. trade panel said on Friday.

The order by the U.S. International Trade Commission has been sent to President Barack Obama, who has 60 days to consider whether to overturn it for policy reasons.

The legal fight at the ITC is one of dozens globally between various smartphone makers over which company's operating system will prevail. Google's Android system has become the top-selling smartphone operating system, ahead mobile systems by Apple, Microsoft, Research in Motion and others.

The ITC order did not say which models of smartphone were affected but Microsoft has asked for the following devices to be stopped at the U.S. border: the Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice and the Xoom tablet.

The patented technology at issue makes it possible for users to generate meeting requests and schedule meetings using their mobile devices.

Motorola Mobility, which is in the process of being acquired by Google, said the company would not feel any near-term impact.

"Although we are disappointed by the commission's ruling that certain Motorola Mobility products violated one patent, we look forward to reading the full opinion to understand its reasoning," the company said in an emailed statement. "We will explore all options including appeal."

Microsoft said it was pleased with the decision. "We hope that now Motorola will be willing to join the vast majority of Android device makers selling phones in the US by taking a license to our patents," a company spokeswoman said via email.

In a complaint filed in October 2010 with the ITC, Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility of infringing nine patents for Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

Two patents were dropped during litigation. An ITC administrative law judge in December found that Motorola Mobility infringed on one Microsoft patent in making Android cellphones but did not infringe on six others. (Reporting By Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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