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Trade judge finds Motorola violated Microsoft patent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. trade panel judge found Motorola Mobility infringed a Microsoft patent in making its Android cellphones, the companies said on Tuesday.

The patented technology makes it possible for users to schedule meetings using mobile devices. However, the U.S. International Trade Commission judge found there was no violation of six other patents that remained in the dispute.

In a complaint filed in October 2010 with the ITC, Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility of infringing nine patents for Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, which do everything from monitoring remaining memory, updating contact lists and synchronizing on- and off-line use. Two patents were dropped from the case during litigation, leaving seven as of December.

The ruling now goes for review by the full commission, with a decision due in the spring. The commission will also consider Microsoft's request that the infringing phones be barred from importation into the United States.

"We are very pleased that the majority of the rulings were favorable to Motorola Mobility," Scott Offer, general counsel of Motorola Mobility, said in a statement.

"The initial determination may provide clarity on the definition of the Microsoft... patent for which a violation was found and will help us avoid infringement of this patent in the U.S. market," said Offer.

David Howard, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, also welcomed the decision, saying: "We are pleased with the ITC's initial determination finding Motorola violated four claims of a Microsoft patent."

Microsoft said in its complaint that the infringing devices included Android phones like the Motorola Droid 2, the Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Backflip and others, including the associated software.

The case at the ITC is No. 337-744.

(Reporting By Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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