Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is none too pleased these days. The company is already facing its own plethora of stiff smartphone competition in the market with iOS and Android against Windows Phone, but Redmond thought it had gained some advantage when it fought and won an import ban on certain smartphone handsets for using a key Microsoft patent. (Threats of import bans have been common, like in this story.)
But while import bans are threatened by cases before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), there is an expectation that if one is imposed that it be executed and enforced as the law of the land. But what does it mean when it just suggestion, or if a company can work its way around such a ruling? Well, it can certainly tick off the competing firm who won the patent battle in the first place. And apparently, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is hacked off pretty good that it sees fit to put legal resources up against the federal government.
Yes, the latest word out of Redmond Monday morning is a report that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is filing a lawsuit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), claiming that the agency is not enforcing an ITC-imposed import ban against a Motorola handset that violated a Microsoft patent, and the suit goes further to allege that CBP has actually had secret meetings with Motorola parent company Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in regards to the import ban and how it affects the handset and its workings with Google.
The Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) patent that was ruled to have been infringed had to do with syncing calendar events with other computers. The decision by the ITC to impose the import ban came in May 2012, but as recently as this past June Microsoft learned that the import of Motorola Mobility phones has resumed, and the patented Microsoft feature had not been removed from those phones that reach U.S. shores. Microsoft is suing to force CBP to enforce the ban, but it is also claiming that the import of Motorola phones has resumed as a result of “secret” meetings between CBP and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). What has been the subject matter of these meetings?