Remember Microsoft’s legal action against Motorola that was in the headlines this time last year? Microsoft accused Motorola of violating sync-related patents it held, and managed to convince the US International Trade Commission to issue an import ban for a large number of Motorola smartphones. We heard Motorola’s assurances about “proactive measures” it was taking to avoid the ruling impacting its ability to do business, and indeed, we barely noticed any real repercussion stemming from that ban. Apparently Microsoft’s been wondering about this too, and is now accusing the US government of failing to enforce the agency’s decision.
According to Microsoft, US Customs is negligent in its unwillingness to put the ITC-approved ban in place. It claims that Customs met secretly with Google, which somehow managed to sweet-talk it into believing that the ITC’s interpretation of the situation (and the applicability of Microsoft’s patents) was flawed.
Clearly, that’s not how this process is supposed to work, so Microsoft is trying to force the government’s hand and compel it to take action. We may be no fans of software patents around here, but there’s a big difference between convincing a court that such patents shouldn’t be valid, and an arm of the government simply ignoring its duties.