In the past week that saw HTC’s own flagship Android smartphones get embargoed at Customs thanks to a 2011 decision handed down via the ITC that found in favor of one of Apple’s patents, another decision is set to mark the same precedent as Microsoft has earned an injunction against Motorola for the same type of overly broad patent, this one centering on the calendar functionality and the scheduling of meetings.
The above is standard functionality in any calendar implementation on any smartphone, yet Motorola is the only Android OEM to not enter into a broad patent licensing agreement with Microsoft and has so far decided to take its chances in court instead of entering into such an agreement, while other OEMs, such as HTC have inked such deals and have escaped such injunctions, preferring to pick its fights with Apple.
It should be said that Microsoft currently makes the majority of its mobile revenue from the Android licensing agreements while it continues to pump millions of dollars into Windows Phone with Nokia as its flagship partner. although the platform still remains stagnant, to the point that Nokia reversed course on offering new Symbian and MeeGo devices in the US, thanks to millions in losses that simultaneously forced the board of directors to rethink its stance on Windows Phone only devices in the US and the rapidly declining share price it faces while scrambling to find a way to make Windows Phone attractive in regions where Symbian was the dominant platform.
For its part, Motorola has reacted to the import ban by stating that it will not affect its short-term plans, nor will the ban affect any other major operations. The company, which is still transitioning into Google’s ownership is currently preparing to roll out Ice Cream Sandwich and is currently in the process of releasing new devices in the wake of the decision. Motorola plans to appeal the ban, but is otherwise forced to pay $0.33 on the dollar for each device per day as a penalty while the company goes through the appeals process.
“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,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We will explore all options including appeal.”
The devices Microsoft has asked to be barred from sale include the following: The 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 the Xoom tablet, the majority of which have already been discontinued in some form or close to being put on carrier End of Life lists.
Microsoft has released its own statement:
“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”