Motorola takes 'proactive measures' to side-step US smartphone ban

The importation of Motorola Mobility mobile devices was due to stop on Wednesday, but the phone maker has suggested it will be able to circumvent disruption of imports.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Motorola Mobility said on Tuesday that it has taken "proactive measures" to keep their smartphones available to U.S.-based consumers, despite a U.S. International Trade Commission ban which comes into effect on Wednesday.


The Google-owned phone maker, acquired in May, plans to take steps to remove the possible disruption of smartphone imports and sales -- after particular models were found to infringe on a patent owned by Microsoft.


Motorola said in a statement:

"In view of the ITC exclusion order which becomes effective Wednesday with respect to the single ActiveSync patent upheld in Microsoft's ITC-744 proceeding, Motorola has taken proactive measures to ensure that our industry-leading smartphones remain available to consumers in the U.S. We respect the value of intellectual property and expect other companies to do the same."

The infringement is due to a patent that makes it possible for consumers to use their smartphones to schedule gatherings and send meeting requests.

Motorola Mobility spokeswoman Becki Leonard said in an emailed statement:

"While we can't share specific details, we have employed a range of proactive measures to ensure there is no continuing infringement under the ITC's interpretation of this single Microsoft patent."

Among the affected Motorola models are the Backflip, Bravo, Droid 2, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice and the Xoom tablet.

Microsoft has previously suggested that Motorola Mobility should license the technology. The other option for the company is simply to remove the infringing technology from its smartphones.

Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility of infringing nine patents in a complaint filed in 2010. The ITC ruled this year that Motorola Mobility infringed on one. However, this is just one of dozens of patent disputes currently in session. Apple and Samsung's high-profile trial is due to begin on July 30; both companies are accusing each other of patent infringement.

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