Motorola phones

Look at the list of Motorola smartphones that Microsoft has dragged out before the International Trade Commission in hopes of blocking future imports, and you can't help but chuckle. Oh, there are a couple of high-enders there -- the Droid X and Droid 2 -- but everything else is an also-ran -- the Charm, Cliq XT, Backflip and Devour. And considering most of them either have gone the way of the dinosaurs or have been replaced by sequels, well, let's just say they won't be missed.

At issue are patents covering functions "essential to the smartphone user experience." We'd argue that there was little on the likes of the Devour or Backflip that was ever essential to any experience (at least not a good one), but that's not quite the point, is it. Chances are Microsoft's looking to set a little precedent with this one.

Set your calendars for Nov. 4, folks, when we'll get some initial findings from the administrative law judge. And start prepping for March 5, 2012, when the investigation is set to conclude. We're on the edge of our seats.

Source: Bloomberg