A Microsoft logo is seen at a pop-up site for the new Windows 10 operating system at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

U.S. Int’l Trade Commission clears Microsoft of patent infringement

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) avoided a potentially costly setback to its financially troubled mobile phone business on Friday as the U.S. International Trade Commission declined to block the import of its devices in a longstanding patent dispute.

The decision rejected a ruling in April by a U.S. trade judge who found that Microsoft had infringed two InterDigital Inc (IDCC.O) wireless patents, and recommended an import ban.

The commission’s action is good news for Microsoft, which has been struggling to compete with popular Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd devices. The Redmond, Washington-based company has captured just 3 percent of the smartphone market in both the United States U.S. and globally, according to recent estimates.

Microsoft last month posted a record quarterly loss as it took a $7.5 billion charge on its handset business, which it bought from Nokia last year.

Wilmington, Delaware-based InterDigital first accused Nokia of infringing its patents in 2007.

InterDigital stock was down 3 percent in after-hours trading on Friday.

Microsoft and InterDigital are at odds over how much InterDigital should be able to charge to license its patents, which are considered essential to cellphone technology.

Earlier this month, Microsoft sued InterDigital in Delaware federal court, claiming InterDigital violated U.S. antitrust law by breaking promises to offer licenses on reasonable terms.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)