Microsoft sues US Customs for not enforcing Motorola phone ban

Microsoft is taking US Customs to court to force them to enforce an ITC ruling which bans Motorola phones using Activesync from being imported into the US.

The import ban dates from May 2012, and Microsoft claims Google has held secret meetings with US Customs to convince them not to block imports of their handsets.

“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 persuaded 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.

“The only conclusion that can reasonably be drawn from CBP’s pattern of conduct is that CBP will not enforce the commission’s exclusion order absent a court order compelling it to do so,” Microsoft said in the filing. “CBP has repeatedly allowed Motorola to evade that order based on secret presentations that CBP has refused to share with Microsoft.”

The ITC order is in effect until Microsoft’s patent expires in April 2018. An appeal in the case is scheduled to be heard Aug. 6 in Washington.

Read more at Bloomberg here.