Following HTC’s import bans on high profile Android handsets such as the HTC One X and the Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE as a result of HTC’s ongoing patent dispute with Apple, the latest Android manufacturer to face an import ban is Motorola Mobility as a result of disputes over intellectual property with Microsoft.
According to Reuters, the issue at hand deals with how meetings are handled on select Motorola handsets:
The patented technology at issue makes it possible for users to generate meeting requests and schedule gatherings using their mobile devices.
News of the Motorola Mobility import ban comes on the heels of China’s approval of Google’s acquisition of the Android licensee and hardware manufacturer in a deal that could wrap up over the next few days; China was the last hurdle surrounding the deal as the U.S. and other countries had already approved of Google’s acquisition.
Given the Google acquisition, any decision that the new Google-owned Motorola makes would have repercussions for other Android licensees as well.
Though the U.S. International Trade Commission did not specify which Motorola handsets were subject to the import ban, Microsoft had requested these handsets to be barred from entering the country: Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice and the Xoom tablet. The list that is presented by Microsoft represents older Motorola handsets and newer devices such as the Droid RAZR, Droid RAZR Maxx, Droid 4, Atrix 2, and others are not included on the list.
Motorola could either remove the infringing feature, change the feature so that it no longer infringes on Microsoft’s claimed patents, or license the technology from Microsoft as other Android handset manufacturers have in the past. It is speculated that Microsoft makes between $5 and $15 in patent licensing fee to Android manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, Huawei, LG, and others over technology that Android is claimed to have infringed upon.
Motorola at one point was rumored to be a Windows Phone 7 licensee. The company had worked with Microsoft in the past in the Windows Mobile era and released the high profile Motorola Q for Verizon Wireless, which took on a BlackBerry form factor. At one point, the original Motorola Droid was rumored to have been designed for Windows Phone 7, but it is said that Microsoft did not have the OS ready in time and Motorola refused to wait and went with Google’s Android OS instead.