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So, FarEasterner's comment spurred me to do a little more research on the case.

Here is an article in an industry news site, which mainly presents the case as Motorla vs. unfair Russian regulators.

Here is a link to another article in the St. Petersburg Times, but which I think may have originated at the Moscow Times.  This one focuses on the patent dispute angle, downplaying the original seizure.

Unsurprisingly, once I found a Russian source on the matter, things started to become a bit clearer.  I am not sure where exactly he originally wrote, but at Mobile Review.com, they have translated and (re) published a series of articles by Eldar Muratzin on the Russian celluar industry, and it's difficulties with the government.  One thing that becomes clear is that this, at least originally, was not a dispute with Motorola at all, but between the Russian cellphone distributor Euroset, and the government.

One the particular seizure in question, there is this longish piece which implies that the problem may well be officials in the government looking to shake down the industry.

This piece, from August of 2005, talks of another large scale seizure of cellphones.

What I find really odd, along with FarEasterner, is why the US press decided to pick this issue up recently, and in terms of a patent conflict between the US company Motorola and another Russian firm.  Why, if this seizure was another issue entirely, is it being linked now to the patent dispute case in the US media?  And furthermore, why on Earth is this issue getting as much play in the media as it is?  Googling the issue, I saw that the basic NYT piece had been picked up by a paper in Arkansas! (a small, rural state on the Mississippi)

by Zwackus on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 09:55:02 PM EST

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