Motorola Mobility loses Microsoft patent ruling

U.S. International Trade Commission judge finds mobile maker guilty of infringing Microsoft patent in making its Android-powered handsets, but rejects six other patent violation claims, according to report.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

A judge from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that Motorola Mobility infringed one of Microsoft's patents in the production of its handsets, but rejected the claims of six other patent violations.

In a Reuters report Tuesday, the U.S. trade judge found that Motorola Mobility had used Redmond's patented technology--which enables users to schedule meetings via mobile devices--in the making of its Android-based mobile phones. However, the judge ruled out any violation of six other patents that was stated in the complaint filed in October 2010. The ruling will now be reviewed by the full commission, which will also consider Microsoft's request that the infringing phones be barred for import into the United States.

Last October, the software giant had accused the handset maker of infringing nine patents for Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, which included monitoring remaining memory, updating contact lists and synchronizing on- and off-line use. Two patents were dropped from the case, leaving seven in dispute as of December, Reuters noted.

"We are very pleased that the majority of the rulings were favorable to Motorola Mobility," Scott Offer, general counsel of Motorola Mobility, said in a statement. "The initial determination may provide clarity on the definition of the Microsoft patent for which a violation was found and will help us avoid infringement of this patent in the U.S. market."

Microsoft's deputy general counsel, David Howard, also added: "We are pleased with the ITC's initial determination finding Motorola violated four claims of a Microsoft patent."

In a separate complaint, the ITC on Tuesday gave Apple a narrow victory over Taiwanese handset maker HTC after it found the latter had violated one of Cupertino's patents, resulting in an import ban for affected handsets starting Apr. 19 next year.

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