Jul 18th, 2012

Just because Motorola won Apple’s patent case against them in Germany doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods just yet. Tomorrow, the US International Trade Commission will put into effect a 2 month old ban order on the import of 18 Motorola’s Android devices after the Google-owned manufacturer was found guilty of infringing on one of Microsoft patents relating to Exchange Active Sync.

Apparently, Motorola has an ace up their sleeve and even though they haven’t revealed exactly what it is, we’re willing to bet it’s either the stripping down of specific software features found on their infringing devices, or simply licensing Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology. When it comes to paying Microsoft to use their tech, this wouldn’t be the first time. Back in 2003, Motorola was licensing Microsoft’s ActiveSync software all the way up until 2007 when they said enough is enough.

According to Ars Technica, they believe Motorola could be so stocked up on their Android devices here in the US, that there would simply be no need for imports. Motorola is confident consumers will still be able to find their products on store shelves after the ruling saying in a statement,

“In view of the ITC exclusion order which becomes effective Wednesday with respect to the single ActiveSync patent upheld in Microsoft’s ITC-744 proceeding, Motorola has taken proactive measures to ensure that our industry leading smartphones remain available to consumers in the US. We respect the value of intellectual property and expect other companies to do the same.”

While Microsoft’s complaint to the ITC specifically mentioned 18 devices, the ITC’s exclusion order used a much broader language, specifying any Motorola device, no matter where it comes from, will be subject to the ban for as long as Microsoft’s patent stands. Microsoft can bee seen as an Android pimp, shaking down OEM’s who release more than 70 percent of smartphones here in the US. Motorola was the last stronghold.

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