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Microsoft sues US Customs and Border Protection for not enforcing ITC exclusion order against Motorola


Thought the ITC battle between Microsoft and Motorola over Microsoft's email-based meeting patents was over? Think again. Despite winning an exclusion order (read: an import ban) on all MMI handsets infringing its patent, Microsoft has filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia against US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Customs Deputy Commissioner Thomas Winkowski, the Department of Homeland Security and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for failing to enforce the order. The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to do their jobs and allowed infringing devices to continue to be imported based upon claims and arguments Moto successfully made to US Customs -- and Microsoft was neither privy to these discussions, nor given the opportunity to respond to Motorola's claims. Essentially, Microsoft argues that Customs and Border Protection has both shirked its duties and made rulings in direct conflict with the ITC's decision and order.

As such, Microsoft wants the court to rule that the CBP exceeded its legal authority, set aside the unlawful rulings set forth by CBP and compel it to enforce the ITC's exclusion order. In addition to the complaint, Microsoft also filed for a Preliminary Injunction asking that the original ITC import ban be enforced immediately. We've yet to hear how the government will respond to these allegations, but we'll keep you posted as things develop.

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