WASHINGTON, July 12 Microsoft Corp,
which won a ban last year on importing some phones made by a
Google Inc subsidiary, filed a motion in a U.S. court
on Friday asking the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border
Protection to enforce the measure.
The U.S. International Trade Commission, which hears a long
list of high-tech patent complaints, said in May 2012 that
Google's Motorola Mobility infringed a Microsoft patent for
generating and synchronizing calendar items. It barred any
infringing Motorola Mobility device from being imported into the
All phones with Google's Android software are affected by
the ban, Microsoft said. But Google said that it should have
applied to only some Motorola Mobility Android phones.
That order was to have gone into effect 60 days after it was
issued but, according to Microsoft's court filing, it still has
not been enforced.
"CBP (Customs and Bureau Protection) has repeatedly allowed
Motorola to evade that order based on secret presentations that
CBP has refused to share with Microsoft," the complaint said.
Google argued that Microsoft tried to broaden the order
beyond what the ITC had intended.
"U.S. Customs appropriately rejected Microsoft's effort to
broaden its patent claims to block Americans from using a wide
range of legitimate calendar functions, like scheduling
meetings, on their mobile phones," said Matt Kallman, a Google
A spokeswoman for U.S. Customs declined comment.
The filing is the latest salvo in an international
smartphone patent war that has embroiled a half dozen companies
in lawsuits filed in about a dozen countries.
The dispute is a sign that deciding which product infringes
a patent is harder now that the world has gone high tech, and
that Customs may not have the needed expertise to make that
determination and perhaps should rely on the ITC, said Deanna
Tanner Okun, a former ITC chairman who is a partner at Adduci,
Mastriani & Schaumberg, LLP.
"Problems have increased. The system is outdated," she said.
"They're using practices and procedures that are 20 years old."