Microsoft has won a patent battle against Motorola Mobility over the infringement of a patent used in its smartphone products, which could result in a sales ban in the US.
Microsoft has won a patent battle against Motorola Mobility over the infringement of a patent used in its smartphone products.
An International Trade Commission (ITC) judge gave a preliminary ruling that Motorola had infringed one of seven patents that Microsoft made claims for. The ruling will have to be confirmed in April of next year, but generally speaking most ITC preliminary verdicts are given the green-light by a full ITC panel.
The patent in question relates to several techniques to schedule meetings and synchronise group calendars, a particularly useful feature for the mobile enterprise sector, which Android has been expanding into.
Microsoft had previously filed a similar complaint with the European Patent Office, but the latter dismissed the case as it deemed that the technology in question was 'obvious'. Microsoft is appealing that decision, and the ITC ruling could impact on that appeal.
The ruling follows a similar verdict by the ITC yesterday which will result in a sales ban on HTC products found to infringe an Apple patent
. While both Motorola and HTC have technically lost their cases, they will be pleased that only one of the multiple claims was validated.
Microsoft already licenses technology to HTC, Samsung and other Android supporters, but the case against Motorola has potentially huge repercussions for the rest of the smartphone industry using Google's operating system, particularly since Google bought the mobile division of Motorola earlier this year.
Microsoft is attempting to get a sales ban put in place against a number of infringing Motorola phones, including the Droid 2, Droixd X and Backflip. However, Motorola could escape such a ban by dropping the feature from its devices.