Microsoft Corp [corporate website] filed a lawsuit on Thursday against US Customs [official website] officials accusing them of refusing to follow an import ban issued in May 2012 against Google, Inc. [corporate website] by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) [official website]. The trade agency had issued the ban after deciding that Google Inc.'s Motorola Mobility devices infringed a Microsoft patent [Bloomberg report] for a way mobile phones synchronize calendar events with other computers. The order was supposed to go into effect 60 days [Reuters report] after it was issued but, according to Microsoft, is still not being enforced. The complaint also named Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who stepped down from her position the same day to head the University of California system.
This is not the first legal action to arise from a Microsoft-Google conflict. In February US District Court Judge James Robart restricted [JURIST report] the patent lawsuit by Motorola Mobility against Microsoft, holding that certain parts of three different Motorola patents were not valid. In January Motorola Mobility filed a motion [JURIST report] with the ITC to drop two key patents from it case against Microsoft. The claim alleged that Microsoft infringed on Motorola Mobility's patents related to technology used in the Xbox. The withdrawal of the claim was required in an agreement Google made with the Federal Trade Commission.