Microsoft sues US Customs for letting in banned Motorola phones

Microsoft is once again going after Google's Motorola Mobility in court over a patent issue, but this time the legal strike is headed for the U.S. government. Today, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, claiming it illegally allowed for Motorola phones that had been banned for import to be brought into the country, even though they violated a patent held by Microsoft.

Bloomberg reports that the specific ban on the Motorola phones was set up back in May 2012 by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ITC ruled that some of Motorola's phones violated one of Microsoft's patents that dealt with "generating meeting requests” from a mobile device. In today's lawsuit, Microsoft claims that Motorola's parent company Google held secret meetings with U.S. Customs officials after the ITC decision. Microsoft alleges that as a result of those meetings, the government agency continued to allow Motorola phones that used Microsoft's patent to be imported into the country.

Microsoft claims that in these meetings with the U.S. Customs service, Google claimed the ITC patent ban did not apply to syncing meeting requests through Google's servers rather than Microsoft's servers. Microsoft said that the ITC had already rejected that notion, as well as a grace period while Google makes changes to the Motorola phones. Indeed, a appeal hearing on this subject is scheduled for Aug. 6.

Source: Bloomberg
Lawsuit image via Shutterstock

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