Microsoft attempts to block sale of Motorola’s Android phones

By Tom Warren, on 23rd Aug 11 3:13 pm with 78 Comments

Microsoft kicked off its trial at the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Monday.

The software giant accused Motorola Mobility of infringing seven patents that the company holds. Microsoft is asking the ITC to block imports of some Motorola Android phones in the United States. The company is bullish in its claims and is confident the ITC will agree that Motorola has infringed the patents. David Howard, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for litigation, revealed the company’s feelings in an email statement to Bloomberg news agency on Monday. “We have a responsibility to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders to safeguard our intellectual property,” said Howard. “Motorola is infringing our patents and we are confident that the ITC will rule in our favor.”

Microsoft’s claims center around mobile phone patents which is slowly becoming the battle ground for Google, Apple and Microsoft. Google announced earlier this month that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Google CEO Larry Page noted at the time of the deal announcement that Microsoft and Apple are “banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android.” Citing recent patent auctions, Page expects that Google’s acquisition will help protect Android in the future. A number of analysts believe Google’s deal could be beneficial to Microsoft’s Windows Phone, creating more competition between the three major smartphone operating systems.

Microsoft’s Motorola ITC case is ongoing and the administrative law judge, Theodore Essex, will release his initial findings in the case on November 4. The commission will complete its full investigation by March 5. Microsoft is seeking to block imports of the Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Blackflip and Charm.

  • http://twitter.com/AM_iL3GENDx AM iL3GENDx

    If Motorola was blocked Verizion would fall due to the only thing keeping them up is Motorola phones

    • Aaron

      Naw, this wont Verizon.  Most people pick carrier first, then they choose their phone.  Besides, HTC and Samsung are already beating Motorolla when it comes to Android sales.

    • Anonymous

      Might push more people toward iphones. Hopefully, Verizon will get some more WP7 hardware so people will have a choice.

    • Anonymous

      Might push more people toward iphones. Hopefully, Verizon will get some more WP7 hardware so people will have a choice.

  • http://twitter.com/AM_iL3GENDx AM iL3GENDx

    If Motorola was blocked Verizion would fall due to the only thing keeping them up is Motorola phones

  • Anonymous

    LOL

  • Anonymous

    LOL

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ZephyrnixLive Lydell Washington

    LOL. Right now, Microsoft is just poking google with a stick like a child lol.

    “Is it dead yet?”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NZRPL7DK7DFQQO44J5TM4PQLGU Harvey

      That is funny :)

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/ZephyrnixLive Lydell Washington

      Which means, you figured out it was a joke lol

    • Test1ngi23

      Sure buddy…

      http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_110822a.html

      Note the sentence: “Google’s Android operating system (OS) continued to dominate U.S.
      smartphone market share, accounting for 52 percent of units sold in the
      second quarter (Q2) of 2011.”

      LOL

    • Aaron

      You are correct, Android is clearly wining at the moment.  But if this case goes Microsoft’s way, and Motorola is forced to settle and agree to royalties.  Then Microsoft will be collecting Android royalties from Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and others.  In the end, that huge market share will be giving Microsoft a ton of money while Google still struggles to find revenue from Android.

      I’m not necessarily saying MS will win from this, but I am showing that Android’s market share doesn’t necessarily mean Google wins over MS (at least from a revenue perspective).

    • Aaron

      You are correct, Android is clearly wining at the moment.  But if this case goes Microsoft’s way, and Motorola is forced to settle and agree to royalties.  Then Microsoft will be collecting Android royalties from Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and others.  In the end, that huge market share will be giving Microsoft a ton of money while Google still struggles to find revenue from Android.

      I’m not necessarily saying MS will win from this, but I am showing that Android’s market share doesn’t necessarily mean Google wins over MS (at least from a revenue perspective).

    • Aaron

      You are correct, Android is clearly wining at the moment.  But if this case goes Microsoft’s way, and Motorola is forced to settle and agree to royalties.  Then Microsoft will be collecting Android royalties from Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and others.  In the end, that huge market share will be giving Microsoft a ton of money while Google still struggles to find revenue from Android.

      I’m not necessarily saying MS will win from this, but I am showing that Android’s market share doesn’t necessarily mean Google wins over MS (at least from a revenue perspective).

    • Anonymous

      And MS at least licenses their patents. If Apple wins, they will force the phones of the market. I don’t believe Apple has been negotiating licensing deals. They have been trying to get injunction to stop the sale of the products.

    • Test1ngi23

      As an end-user, I honestly don’t care if Google makes any money off of Android. I appreciate that Google produces a highly capable and customizable OS and doesn’t charge me for it. I appreciate that they make it (mostly) intellectually free too when they don’t have to. It’s not perfect by a long shot but it’s miles ahead of anything else right now (except maybe for webOS). I don’t know about you but I think freedom and customizability are a bit more important than snazzy animations, but then again, that’s just me.

    • Anonymous

      You don’t care right now. If google can’t monetize android, at some point they will stop updating it. At that point it will either start dying or the open source community will take over. I don’t know if hardware manufacturers will want to make consumer electronic devices with an OS that doesn’t have support.

    • Jinge

      I think it is too late for google to stop support of android (maybe reduce expenses, but not so much). They would loose too much credibility.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think that the open source community can take it over completely. As Android has confidential coding ;-)

    • Hmmm

      I wonder what all those OEM partners who contributed to that result think about Google now competing against them?

    • Aaron

      Obviously you haven’t heard yet.  Android is an “open” platform.  There is no way, for instance, that Google would have its own proprietary source code that only they are privy too.

      //anyone who has been following the court case will know why this is sarcasm.

    • Aaron

      Obviously you haven’t heard yet.  Android is an “open” platform.  There is no way, for instance, that Google would have its own proprietary source code that only they are privy too.

      //anyone who has been following the court case will know why this is sarcasm.

    • Anonymous

      You mean like how they gave Motorola Exclusive Access to the Honeycomb Source code before Everyone else???? Good one.

      //Blatantly ignoring the sarcasm explanation.

    • Anonymous

      Not as “open” an you might think… You have to go through a lot to get your hands on the Android source code… What happened to open?

      Google does have proprietary code that they do not release without agreements. That’s one reason Honeycomb isn’t on every tablet.

    • Anonymous

      Not as “open” an you might think… You have to go through a lot to get your hands on the Android source code… What happened to open?

      Google does have proprietary code that they do not release without agreements. That’s one reason Honeycomb isn’t on every tablet.

    • Johnloce

      Here you are again…trolling

    • Guest

      Correct Like Samsung who has been rethinking and decided to put more effort in their Beda software that is currently selling 2 to1 to WP7!

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/ZephyrnixLive Lydell Washington

      lol. Dude. It was a joke. Calm down. of course Android is winning, they’ve been out longer and it’s free.

      That being said, seeing how Microsoft is getting a piece of every android HTC phone, I’d say microsoft is winning. TROLOLOLOLOLOL!!! 

    • Guest

      And people like it better then WP7 but then again people liked WM 6.5  better then Wp7

    • Anonymous

      Except MS will get an estimated $5 from everyone of phones.

    • Guest

      Which is good because it allow idiot Ballmer to honestly say “We are making money in Mobile”  to bad he is not talking about WP7.

    • Anonymous

      MS MAKES MORE from android than google itself does

    • Anonymous

      It’s not THAT difficult to sell something for free to the masses…

    • Anonymous

      It’s not THAT difficult to sell something for free to the masses…

    • Aaron

      While I like MS over Google, this analogy is kind of silly.  Google is a strong company that is still on the rise.  Right now MS is the one that is portrayed to be on the decline.  I hope Windows 8 and other stuff in the near future can turn that around though.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/ZephyrnixLive Lydell Washington

      Yes sir… it was a joke. lol, wow, I guess my joke skills need more practice lol….. 

    • Jinge

      MS on the decline? Who says that? I still think they are more valuable than google, because they are stable. If some company gets to the Google Business (ads) and hit the market, google may loose a lot of money. Google is too dependent of 1 unique kind of revenue.
      If MS stops any of its business, they may reduce profits, but shouldn’t loose much money…
      So……. Google, strong but weak (even if they get stronger these days with android etc..!)

    • Jinge

      MS on the decline? Who says that? I still think they are more valuable than google, because they are stable. If some company gets to the Google Business (ads) and hit the market, google may loose a lot of money. Google is too dependent of 1 unique kind of revenue.
      If MS stops any of its business, they may reduce profits, but shouldn’t loose much money…
      So……. Google, strong but weak (even if they get stronger these days with android etc..!)

  • BigChiefSmokem

    The game continues and Microsoft has just called Check on the board.

    Let’s watch.

    • Anonymous

      Funny you mention that because i believe MS strategy has been working and this is the reason why Google bought Motorola but i believe Google made a big mistake on this one. Not only are they alienating their partners but they are also receiving a big blow which in turn would effect Android. This is looking very interesting… just waiting to see MS Check mate Google!

    • Anonymous

      I do not want check mate against Google, I want Google to understand that MS is more than willing to cooperate. The MS of the 21st century is the one that cooperates with open source projects and tries to synergize as much as possible.

    • Anonymous

      Just because the wolf is showing its teeth one should not assume it’s smiling…

    • Anonymous

      Just because the wolf is showing its teeth one should not assume it’s smiling…

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      Totally agree, my first throught was that Google made a newbie mistake in buying Motorolla.

      They’re totally reacting to the patent battles but completely missing the big picture.  Microsoft has been in business for over 35 years, Nokia for 140 years… 

      Google is fairly new.  They had a huge success with Android, and they might have just thrown it all away.  Samsung has already mentioned they are going to be strengthening their Bada OS after the Motorolla aquisition announcement.

  • President Baltar

    If this goes south for Google i might fell down a chair and roll over laughing – just ’cause their nice large hump of money that goes out the window :D

    • Guest

      The rumor was that Motorola was close to signing a patent deal with MS, which is why Google took this unprecedented step and spent almost $13B to take them out. So that kind of tells you what Motorola thought of their chances. The guy who writes FOSS patents also think MS’s position is quite strong and Motorola’s relatively weak. It should also be noted that this is still a Motorola/MS issue, not a Google/MS one. The MMI/Google deal hasn’t been approved yet and probably won’t be for many months. So Motorola is on its own. 

    • Aaron

      It may be a Motorola/MS issue, but Google will inherit the outcome.  I’m with this guy, I will laugh my ass off if MS forces Motorola to agree to royalties which Google will have to start paying once they take over.  I guess Google could try to tear up the contract when their acquisition finalizes, but that would be a tough fight to start with MS who will have the strong position.

    • Hmmm

      If Motorola loses they’ll probably just appeal until Google can take over. Of course if the Google/MMI deal doesn’t go forward, Google owes Motorola $2.5B (deal breakup premium) and Motorola will probably still be forced to sign a patent deal with MS. Only now Google’s other OEMs are all pissed off that Google tried to compete against them and they’ve seen another supposed parent-rich entity lose to MS. Now *that* would be funny.

    • Anonymous

      I see this, if MS gets royalties from more Android devices, effectively nullifying the “free” incentive of Android, making device manufacturers think twice about using it. WP7 may win after all…

    • Johnloce

      Troll

    • Anonymous

      Thank you.

    • Johnloce

      Your welcome.

    • Johnloce

      Your welcome.

    • Anonymous

      You can continue for as long as you like…

    • Johnloce

      I know, and i will.

    • Johnloce

      I know, and i will.

    • Anonymous

      You can continue for as long as you like…

    • Anonymous

      You can continue for as long as you like…

    • Johnloce

      Your welcome.

    • Johnloce

      Your welcome.

    • Anonymous

      So, I’m a troll when supporting Microsoft eh?

    • Johnloce

      ‘You’re’, just a troll full stop. I never said you were one way or the other.

    • Anonymous

      Glad to know I still have your full attention.

    • Johnloce

      Obviously you will always have it.

    • Anonymous

      Glad to know I still have your full attention.

    • Johnloce

      ‘You’re’, just a troll full stop. I never said you were one way or the other.

    • Johnloce

      Troll

  • Guest

    “Citing recent patent auctions, Page expects that Google’s acquisition will help protect Android in the future”

    Except they didn’t protect Motorola from being sued by both MS and Apple. So exactly how they now protect Google, assuming the acquisition goes through, is unclear.

  • Guest

    “Citing recent patent auctions, Page expects that Google’s acquisition will help protect Android in the future”

    Except they didn’t protect Motorola from being sued by both MS and Apple. So exactly how they now protect Google, assuming the acquisition goes through, is unclear.

  • Donoevilmyass

    “Larry Page noted at the time of the deal announcement that Microsoft and Apple are “banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android.””

    LOL. Yeah, and I guess Oracle made up those internal Rubin and Lindholm documents that show Google acknowledging Android infringed Java and that they should therefore negotiate a license agreement, but decided to release anyway and take their chances.

  • Aaron

    I’m sure a lot of people will post here saying that MS, Apple, and others are being anti-innovation for suing other companies based on IP infringement from Android.  But I believe Google does have a good amount of blame here.  They are a reckless company that rushes products to market (sometimes hiding behind the beta label for years).  In this case, they wanted to compete with the iPhone so bad that they basically copied Apple’s interface and the IP of many other companies.  Now the OEM’s who jumped on Android because they saw a free lunch have to pay the piper.  You can say that MS was too slow to the smartphone race, but at least WP7 was a fresh and original take on the smartphone.  Android is simply a mash up of copied parts (Delvik, app interface, ect…) that Google rushed out the door so they could get into the game.  Well now they are playing in the big leagues and have to deal with the same issues that all large companies face when trying to innovate and build products.

    • http://twitter.com/TroyGates TroyGates

      Microsoft had a smartphone OS years before Apple and Google, but most people tend to forget that Palm and Microsoft had the bulk of the smartphone marketplace back then. The iPhone has clouded the smartphone industry into thinking it was the first. So no, Microsoft is not late to the smartphone race, they are just regrouping their effort to regain the ground they loss to Apple and Google.

    • Guest

      Right. They’re not late, they just blew a decade head start and then took three years to respond. Impressive. Not.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t quite see where they copied Apple’s interface. The app launchers looks similiar, but the rest is very different. Apple sued Samsung because the hardware design is very similiar to the Iphone/Ipad. I don’t wwhich IP Apple claimes Android infringes, but if it’s the ui I don’t see them winning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001039271971 Martyn Metalous

    Really hope MS wins, Google’s whole approach has been short term imo and is going to back fire big time.

    Blocking Motorola will send a clear message to all Android handset makers, pay up or ship out ;)

    • Anonymous

      Google’s main aproach is to throw as many things as possible to the wall and see what sticks.

  • Jinge

    “The commission will complete its full investigation by March 5. Microsoft is seeking to block imports of the Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Blackflip and Charm.”
    So the decision will be made once the mobiles are out of date… Great…..

  • Zbogdanski

    And consequently, I will never purchase products from these companies if I don’t have to.  Ridiculous, childish moves that are stemming from Apple/MS’s inability to compete.