Microsoft has licensing deals with almost all of the major Android handset manufacturer, except Motorola. So way back in October, 2010, Microsoft sued Motorola over infringing nine of its patents in its Android handset. But Motorola refused to cave in and the case went on till recently, when Microsoft won the case and the International Trade Commission (ITC) imposed a ban on Motorola importing Android smart phones to the United States.
So the question arises, what were the patents infringed and what were they related to. Well, nice question. According to the court documents, Motorola has infringed on nine patents, ranging from sending and receiving emails, managing calendars and contacts to managing a phone’s memory. The ITC’s decision centers around the usage of a single remaining patent for “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device,” which according to Microsoft, the phone maker has failed to correctly license.
David Howard, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, said in a statement:
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 U.S. by taking a license to our patents.
As a result of this ruling, Motorola is now forced to change the algorithm used by it in all its future and presently not-yet-sold Android handsets, or it will be banned from selling its Android handsets in the United States. Along with this, Motorola will have to pay Microsoft 33 cents “per device entered for consumption.”
This is going to become just like any other Android manufacture in the market. So the credit of not having to pay a single penny to Microsoft for using Android will no more remain with Motorola. And now that Google has got the approval from the Chinese authorities as well for the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, this will soon become a case between Microsoft and Google. Will this change anything? Well, we will just have to wait and watch.