The US International Trade Commission has issued a preliminary ruling stating that Motorola Mobility is in violation of infringing on one of Microsoft's patents, according to Mary-Jo Foley. The patent that Motorola Mobility is infringing on is patent number 6,370,566. This particular patent makes it possible for individuals to schedule meetings on their mobile device.
The initial complaint was that Motorola was infringing on 7 of Microsoft's patents but the ITC only found that Motorola Mobility was infringing on one of them. Microsoft's David Howard,Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel official made the following statement:
We are pleased with the ITC’s initial determination finding Motorola violated four claims of a Microsoft patent. As Samsung, HTC, Acer and other companies have recognized, respecting others’ intellectual property through licensing is the right path forward
The case is far from over as the six-member commission must issue a final ruling (this is a preliminary ruling) and then the judge must consider that opinion of the commission to issue the final verdict in the case. As it stands now, Motorola is cited as infringing on one patent which means that this ruling is subject to change given its current status.
Patents have been a hot topic as of late with Apple going after Samsung, Microsoft and Motorola Mobility hashing it out and of course Microsoft going after Android vendors for royalties. What this all means is that the mobile market is extremely volatile for not only existing participants, but new entrants in the market face a steep climb to become profitable if they want to stay out of the courts.