Goodbye Moto? Banned From US for Infringing Microsoft Patent
It seems that Motorola is infringing on four patent claims that Microsoft has covering technology for scheduling meetings using your email. (Ie your Windows Live Calendar) This has prompted the ITC to ban Motorola products from US soil unless they remove this feature or pay Microsoft for the patents.
It is to be noted that almost every other manufacture that uses the Android OS already has a licensing agreement with Microsoft on these patents. David Howard (corporate vice president and deputy general counsel Microsoft) had this to say about it:
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. 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 US by taking a license to our patents.
As of right now the only other thing that could save Motorola is the president of the United States he has a "60 day Presidential review period" in which he can over turn the ruling. This is something that I highly doubt will happen being that the economy is still horrible and he is in full campaign for his re-election bid this November.
Naturally Motorola had statement on the matter:
Microsoft started its ITC investigation asserting 9 patents against Motorola Mobility. 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 Mobility will not experience any impact in the near term, as the Commission's ruling is subject to a $0.33/per unit bond during the 60 day Presidential review period. We will explore all options including appeal.
I am thinking the outcome of this matter will be Motorola paying Microsoft licensing rights again quickly. (Motorola was paying Microsoft for this patent and just stopped one day) I can not see them letting the US supply of their devices dry up here stateside while they fight what is normally a three to five dollar a handset licensing fee.