Ina Fried

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Court Bans Import of Some Motorola Phones Found to Infringe on Microsoft Patent

Microsoft on Friday won a decision in one of its patent disputes with Motorola Mobility, as the full International Trade Commission ruled that some Motorola devices infringe on its technology.

This patent dispute, one of several between the companies, centers on Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology. Ultimately, the ruling could lead to the ban of imports of Motorola products that infringe on the patent in question.

“Microsoft sued Motorola in the ITC only after Motorola chose to refuse Microsoft’s efforts to renew a patent license for well over a year,” Microsoft deputy general counsel David Howard said in a statement. “We’re pleased the full Commission agreed that Motorola has infringed Microsoft’s intellectual property, and we hope that now Motorola will be willing to join the vast majority of Android device makers selling phones in the U.S. by taking a license to our patents.”

The ITC issued an initial finding of infringement in this case back in December.

Motorola, for its part, notes that it can continue shipping products during a 60-day presidential review process and said it will ponder its options. It also noted that Microsoft had originally sought a ruling that Motorola had infringed on nine patents.

“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,” Motorola said in a statement. “We will explore all options including appeal.”

Motorola said it will be required to post a 33-cents-per-unit bond for products it ships during the 60-day review period.

This dispute is separate from other conflicts between the two companies, including one related to Microsoft’s Xbox. Motorola has won an initial ruling it its favor from the ITC in that case.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google