The first update comes from the courtroom, or more specifically, a lawsuit from Microsoft alleging that Motorola infringed seven of its patents. Motorola didn’t come out victorious, but the outcome was a pretty good one all in all.
An International Trade Commission (ITC) judge dismissed six of the claims, but did conclude that one particular feature has indeed been ‘inspired’ by Microsoft software. US patent no. 6,370,566 covers a method that ActiveSync leverages to synchronize appointments set by a user across multiple end points, and Motorola has been ordered to modify the corresponding component found on its devices. That is, if it doesn’t want to suffer from suspension on shipping handsets to the US indefinitely.
In addition, the Android OEM will have to pay $0.33 per each Android phone it’s sold; a sizable sum, but at the same time more than reasonable considering that Redmond’s initial demand was in the range of $5 to $15 per device.
“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,” Microsof said in a statement. “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.”
The same day, the ruling came through China finally giving Google the green light to close the acquisition of the Motorola Mobility. The agreement is that in exchange, the search giant guaranteed that Android will remain open source for the next five years.