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U.S. Ban on 18 Motorola Devices Starts Tomorrow

by Mark Hearn | July 17, 2012July 17, 2012 3:00 pm PST

Motorola XOOM

An import ban against 18 of Motorola Mobility’s Android devices is scheduled to take effect tomorrow. The ban follows an  International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling in May that found Motorola Mobility guilty of infringing on a Microsoft patent. The patent in question is related to Exchange and Active Sync meeting requests and scheduling for mobile devices.

Unmoved by this ruling, Motorola Mobility says it has plans to ensure that its products remain available to U.S. consumers, however the Google-owned company has not detailed its plans.

“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 Mobility has taken proactive measures to ensure that our industry leading smartphones remain available to consumers in the US,” Motorola Mobility told Ars Technica. “We respect the value of intellectual property and expect other companies to do the same.”

As a possible workaround, Motorola Mobility could issue a software update to the impacted devices that would either remove or change the infringing feature, so that it complies with the ITC’s ruling. There’s also the possibility that Motorola Mobility has stocked up on these devices, where it wouldn’t need to import to meet consumer demand.

The devices affected by the ITC’s ban include the Motorola Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice and Xoom.

Most of these devices are outdated, many aren’t even offered by U.S. wireless carriers anymore, which leads us to believe that Motorola already has enough stock to meet consumer demand. Still, Microsoft says this ban still applies to Motorola Mobility’s newer products.

“Absent a drastic redesign, the exclusion order should cover most, if not all, new mobile devices developed by Motorola,” Microsoft told Ars Technica. “The exclusion order is not limited to these devices at issue in the ITC, but will cover all infringing devices from now until to the expiration of the patent, April 10, 2018.”

Motorola Mobility appears confident that it will be able to meet consumer demands for its products without violating the ITC’s import ban. When asked if it knew how Motorola Mobility would do this, Microsoft told Arstechnica that it had no information on how Motorola Mobility will comply. Perhaps it has plans to license Microsoft’s technology.

[via: Ars Technica]


Mark Hearn

Mark Hearn is a nerd's nerd if ever such a thing existed. Covering the mobile scene for several years, he also has a love for film, sports, gaming...

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