Hot on the heels of news of a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling stating that HTC infringed on an Apple patent, the ITC has now decided that another Android manufacturer has infringed on a different company's patent. Today an administrative law judge ruled that some Motorola-made Android devices infringe on four claims of Microsoft patent #6,370,566. The patent, according to Microsoft, lets users "schedule an appointment anytime, anywhere, and invite others to attend, making easy use of email addresses and contact information and synchronizing calendars across their phone, PC and other devices." The judge's ruling is an initial determination, meaning that a full commission will now review the decision and decide whether or not to ban any Motorola products.
When asked about the ruling, Motorola General Counsel Scott Offer said that the company is happy with it, saying "They had originally nine patents in their first case. They are down to one patent effectively.” Offer said that Motorola is "reviewing its options" in regards to the one patent that it was found to be in violation of. As for Microsoft, the company was unsurprisingly pleased with the decision. The full statement from Microsoft deputy general counsel David Howard:
"We are pleased with the ITC's initial determination finding Motorola violated four claims of a Microsoft patent. As Samsung, HTC, Acer and other companies have recognized, respecting others' intellectual property through licensing is the right path forward."
So overall both companies seem upbeat about the decision: Motorola because it was only found to be in violation of one patent, Microsoft because Moto was found to be in violation at all. Now we wait until the ITC's full commission can take a look at the ruling, which may not happen for another few months. Until then, Motorola will begin looking into what steps to take next while it continues to fight the other patent suits brought against it by Microsoft. More on this as we get it!