ITC bans import of infringing Motorola Android devices

The ITC found that some devices infringe on a Microsoft patent for 'generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device'

The U.S. International Trade Commission issued an import ban Friday on any Android devices from Motorola that infringe one of Microsoft's patents.

The commission's order affirms an initial determination from an administrative law judge in December 2011. The ITC began investigating the issue in November 2010, in response to a complaint from Microsoft.

The ITC found that Motorola's devices infringe on Microsoft's patent number 6,370,566, which describes "generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device."

Microsoft had originally alleged that Motorola was infringing nine patents, but they were eventually reduced to one.

The order is subject to a 60-day presidential review, during which time Motorola must post a US$0.33 bond for any device it imports with the infringing technology.

Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said the company was "disappointed" but would "not experience any impact in the near term," pending the presidential review and a possible appeal.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The order was first reported by Florian Mueller's Foss Patents blog. Mueller said Motorola will likely respond by removing the offending feature.

Google, which is in the process of acquiring Motorola, had filed a brief with the court indicating that the ban would not be in the public interest. The commission dismissed that argument.

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.

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