View Full Version : Microsoft Sues U.S. Customs for Failing to Enforce Google/Motorola Sales Ban

07-15-2013, 03:44 PM

There's an old saying that "if you try to take on the U.S. Government you will always lose." It looks like Microsoft is willing to test that theory. They are suing the U.S. Customs Department for allegedly failing to enforce a sales ban on Google owned Motorola Mobility's Android phones. Last year, Microsoft went before the ITC (The U.S. International Trade Commission) and won a sales ban for Motorola phones which violate Microsoft patents. Microsoft alleges that U.S Customs has had secret meetings with Google and has given them extra time to work out the issues which Microsoft claims violates their patents. Here's a quote with more of the details,

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, after having secret meetings with Google, continued to let the Motorola Mobility mobile phones enter the country even though Google has done nothing to remove the feature at the heart of the ITC case, Microsoft said in the complaint. The case illustrates what Lexmark International Inc. (LXK) and Lutron Electronics Co. in May called an “increasingly ineffective and unpredictable enforcement” of import bans imposed by the trade agency.

“Customs has a clear responsibility to carry out ITC decisions, which are reached after a full trial and rigorous legal review,” Microsoft Deputy General Counsel David Howard said in a statement. “Here Customs repeatedly ignored its obligation and did so based on secret discussions.”

Motorola Mobility convinced the agency that the order didn’t apply to syncing through Google rather than Microsoft servers, and to give it a grace period to allow changes to take effect. Both of those requests had previously been rejected by the ITC, according to Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft.

[Google Responded] “U.S. Customs appropriately rejected Microsoft’s effort to broaden its patent claims to block Americans from using a wide range of legitimate calendar functions, like scheduling meetings, on their mobile phones,” Matt Kallman, a Google spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “We’re confident that the court will agree.”

Jenny Burke, a spokeswoman for Customs, said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Source: Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-12/microsoft-sues-u-s-customs-for-failed-google-phone-ban.html)