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By 21 December 2011 | Categories: news

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Following Apple winning a ban on certain HTC mobile devices in the US, the latest news from the patent war front is that the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a preliminary ruling in Microsoft’s patent case against Motorola Mobility.

The ITC’s initial determination is that Motorola Mobility is violating just one out of the seven patents listed by the Redmond-based software giant in its case against the US smartphone and tablet maker. According to the BBC, the patent in question deals with methods to schedule meetings as well as to synchronise group calendars via a smartphone.

This determination is subject to further review by the full panel of ITC judges, with that final decision expected by 20 April 2012.

Motorola Mobility stated that Microsoft is also infringing on its patent portfolio and said that it has active patent infringement litigation and proceedings against Microsoft within a number of jurisdictions, including the ITC.

“We are very pleased that the majority of the rulings were favorable to Motorola Mobility,” said Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility. "The ALJ’s [Administrative Law Judge] initial determination may provide clarity on the definition of the Microsoft 566 patent for which a violation was found and will help us avoid infringement of this patent in the U.S. market.”
 
In related news European Union regulators have temporarily suspended their anti-trust investigation into Google’s pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility, in order to assess further data concerning the deal.

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