The war of patents just got more intense with Microsoft losing the first round in a battle against InterDigital Inc (ITC case #613) at the International Trade Commission or ITC. United States International judge on Monday found Microsoft guilty under the case of employing InterDigital Inc’s patent technology in its smartphones without the consent.
According to the judge, Theodore Essex, Microsoft has infringed two wireless cellular patents owned by InterDigital, which is a company that designs technologies and licenses them to third parties. [see press release]
Essex also stated that it would not be against users interest to prohibit Microsoft devices from importing into the United States – opening the door to a possible ban. However, the matter is still needed to be reviewed by the entire commission before eventually enforcing a prohibition. It remains to be seen if the products will actually be banned.
In a different 2006 case, Nokia got into an agreement with InterDigital to pay $253 million in order to end the licensing dispute over critical phone technology.
Over the years, InterDigital and OEMs have entered several legal disputes over patents, some of which it has won, others have been lost, and many have been settled. Companies that license intellectual property (IP) often have to go to court. In the past, Rambus was known for that, and recently NVIDIA has sued Samsung about IP-related issues.