Microsoft starts ITC trial against Motorola, asks to block all Droid imports

imageThe case has been rumbling for a while but Microsoft is finally having its day in court with Google’s new fiancé, Motorola.

Microsoft’s case against Motorola at the ITC in Washington has started today. Microsoft is accused Motorola Mobility of infringing seven of its patents which Microsoft calls “essential to the smartphone user experience,” including ways to synchronize e- mail, calendars and contacts; schedule meetings; and notify applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

“We have a responsibility to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders to safeguard our intellectual property,” David Howard, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for litigation, said in an e-mail. “Motorola is infringing our patents and we are confident that the ITC will rule in our favor.”

Motorola has promised to “vigorously defending” itself but according to FOSSPatents Motorola’s own countersuit has been postponed to the second half of 2012, while Microsoft’s case will conclude by March 2012, meaning the ITC could potentially block all imports of Motorola phones for months before Motorola even has chance to respond.

Administrative Law Judge Theodore Essex is scheduled to release his findings in the case Nov. 4, and the commission has a target to complete its investigation by March 5, according to information on the agency’s website.