Microsoft found itself on the receiving end of a punch following today’s ruling that the software giant infringed on patents in its mobile devices.
In this ongoing battle, which we reported on back in June 2014, InterDigital Inc claims Microsoft violated its wireless patents by using its technology in Lumia devices without permission. This was first filed against Nokia and ZTE, but since Microsoft acquired Nokia’s Devices and Services division, it’s the software giant’s problem now.
According to Reuters, International Trade Commission judge Theodore Essex has ruled that “Microsoft infringed on two wireless cellular patents owned by InterDigital”. The judge also ruled that it would “not be against the public interest to ban the Microsoft devices from import into the United States”. This could be a significant blow for Microsoft particularly when the company is already in the process of preparing the launch of its upcoming Windows 10 devices.
The decision to ban the devices still has to be reviewed by the full commission (to be completed by late August) before it can go into effect, so an import ban is not a certainty just yet. See the emphasis on 'could' above? That's because we're not yet aware of which specific phones violate the patents, but a previous InterDigital vs Nokia case from 2013 targeted the Lumia 920, 822, and 820. We’ll keep an eye on the case and update the article when we have additional information, so stay tuned to WinBeta for the more on it.
UPDATE: Microsoft has responded to the ruling, saying in a statement: "we have a successful track record challenging patent assertion entities that misuse industry standards." While InterDigital said that it is looking forward to "continued discussions" with Microsoft over a possible licensing agreement.