Motorola Android devices banned from US after Microsoft patent dispute

Motorola hit with import band
Motorola devices are banned after patent dispute

The US International Trade Commission issued a limited exclusion order banning certain Motorola Android devices from being imported to the U.S. after determining that the devices infringe on a patent held by Microsoft.

The patent involves the way the devices create and schedule meeting requests. Motorola can either remove the infringing feature, alter it so that it no longer violates Microsoft's patent, or reach a licensing agreement with Microsoft.

The infringing devices have yet to be named, and Motorola did not wish to comment beyond their official statement, which can be found below.

But Microsoft's initial dispute specifically called out these older devices:

The ITC reached the decision on Friday, and as per other ITC rulings, Motorola now has 60 days to comply or find a work-around.

During that period Motorola will be required to pay $.33 on all infringing devices imported, and President Obama has the option to veto the ITC's decision.

Motorola will consider an appeal

"Microsoft started its ITC investigation asserting 9 patents against Motorola Mobility," Motorola said in a statement to TechRadar.

"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.

"Motorola Mobility will not experience any impact in the near term, as the Commission's ruling is subject to a $0.33/per unit bond during the 60 day Presidential review period. We will explore all options including appeal."

For their part, Microsoft has expressed a desire to reach a licensing agreement with Motorola.

"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," Microsoft's corporate VP and deputy general counsel David Howard said in a statement to TechRadar.

"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."

Patent disputes against Android escalating

The ITC's Friday ruling against Motorola came the same week that Taiwanese manufacturer HTC felt the repercussions of a similar decision regarding HTC's infringement of a patent held by Apple.

That decision, reached last December, barred HTC from importing the One X and EVO 4G LTE Android smartphones, and the devices were temporarily stopped at customs earlier last week.

The phones were eventually cleared, but if Android devices continue to come under pressure due to patent disputes with companies like Apple and Microsoft, the platform could be in serious trouble.

Motorola is in the process of being acquired by Google, but it's unknown exactly how the acquisition will affect these events.

Via GottaBe Mobile

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.