Microsoft moves to block sale of Motorola Android phones

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Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software maker, began arguing its U.S. trade case that Android- based smartphones made by Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. use technology derived from Microsoft inventions.
In a trial that began today before the International Trade Commission in Washington, Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility of infringing seven of its patents and requested a halt to imports of certain Motorola phones. The ITC has the power to stop imports of products that violate U.S. patent rights.
The case is the first smartphone dispute to be heard by the agency since Google Inc. (GOOG) said Aug. 15 it would buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion to obtain patents that could be used as a bulwark against a surge of lawsuits targeting handsets and tablet computers that use Google’s Android operating system.
“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 Mobility is “vigorously defending” itself “against Microsoft’s patent attack business strategy,” Jennifer Erickson, a Motorola Mobility spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “We have also brought legal actions of our own in the U.S. and in Europe to address Microsoft’s large scale of infringement of Motorola Mobility’s patents.”

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