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ITC Sides With Microsoft, Bans Motorola Android Phones

Last Friday, the International Trading Commission decided that all Android devices made by Motorola violate a patent created by Microsoft. Thus, the manufacturer has been banned from selling its top smartphones in the US, but Motorola may still have a chance to work around this issue.

Patent number 6,370,566 was created back in 1998, with the purpose of covering appointment scheduling using email addresses and contact information, while synchronising these events across multiple platforms.

The good news is that all ITC decisions may be reviewed by the US President, giving the company up to two months to find a way to avoid the Microsoft patented feature. Until then, Motorola has the right to sell devices which infringe the patent, such as the Droid Razr, the Atrix and the Xoom tablet, whilst paying 20p to Microsoft for every deal they strike.

However, Microsoft's goal is to "force" Motorola into signing a licence agreement - and not to ban devices from the market.

"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."

Source: ITC (PDF file)