Motorola Mobility couldn't prove the Microsoft patent was similar to technology used in an old Apple personal assistant

Motorola Mobility was recently on the losing side of an appeals court ruling, which favored Microsoft in a patent case that banned certain Motorola phones. 

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said Google's Motorola Mobility lost the appeals case due to its inability to prove that the Microsoft patent was used in Apple's Newton personal digital assistant over a decade ago.

The appeals court also upheld a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decision regarding the same patent, which stated that Microsoft satisfied the domestic industry requirement for it and could lead to an import ban. 

The Microsoft patent is U.S. Patent No. 6,370,566, which is titled “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device.” It relates to a method in which mobile devices synchronize calendars with computers, and it's part of Microsoft’s ActiveSync software. 

The key issue here is that Microsoft says it has offered license agreements to numerous companies that covers them under its patent portfolio, and allows several Android mobile phones and tablets to use its technologies. But Motorola is not one of those companies

This all started back in 2010 when Microsoft filed a complaint in the ITC in October Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Motorola saying that the import and sale of certain Motorola mobile devices infringed nine Microsoft patents -- which included the patent for synchronizing calendars. 

In May 2012, the ITC imposed a limited exclusion order on imports of Motorola products that were considered an infringement of certain claims of the patent previously in question. 

Motorola Mobility later argued that Apple's Newton MessagePad, which was an art digital assistant it created in the 1990s (it failed), had a similar technology as Microsoft's patent.

However, the ITC did not find enough evidence to back Motorola Mobility's argument. 

Microsoft ended up suing the U.S Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as well, claiming that they were not enforcing the ITC's ban. 

Source: Bloomberg

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