Microsoft wants ITC to ban Motorola smartphone imports

Microsoft fires a legal shot over Motorola's bow and asks the ITC to ban handset imports into the US.

The smartphone industry is the only industry that I'm aware of where pretty much every player is suing everyone else. The lawyers involved must be happy. Anyway, the latest twist is that Microsoft has now approached the International Trade Commission and requested that Motorola imports be banned from the US.

The complaint refers to six handsets:

  • Droid 2
  • Droid X
  • Cliq XT
  • Devour
  • Backflip
  • Charm

Microsoft is claiming that these handsets infringe on seven of its patents relating to calendars and contacts, email sync, scheduling, and mechanisms used to inform applications of changes in signal strength and battery power. Microsoft calls these features 'essential to the smartphone user experience.'

Microsoft is choosing to do this following Google's acquisition of Motorola's mobile devices division for $12.5 billion. Google was hoping that the acquisition of Motorola Mobility (and its patents) could be used to protect it and the Android mobile OS from litigation - perhaps that might not work out so well after all.

As expected, Microsoft is 'confident that the ITC will rule in [its] favor' while Motorola says it will be defending itself 'vigorously' from Microsoft attack.

The ITC has until March 5, 2012 to complete its investigation, so don't expect anything to happen soon!

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