January 15, 2012
Apple Loses Ruling In Motorola Patent Case
Motorola did not violate a trio of Apple patents with their Droid line of smartphones, a U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) judge ruled on Friday.
According to CNET reporters David Hamilton and Josh Lowensohn, the ruling, which was first filed by Apple in October 2010, still needs to be approved by the full six-person USITC commission.Nonetheless, the decision, handed down by Administrative Law Judge Theodore Essex, "[deals] a blow to Apple's legal offensive against the Android smartphone ecosystem."
Bloomberg's Susan Decker reports that two of the accusations against Motorola were related to touch-screen technology, and that the case "has been part of a broader battle that Cupertino, California-based Apple is waging across four continents against makers of phones that run on Android, which the company claims copies features of the iPhone."
"Apple received a mixed ruling in a trade commission case against Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC Corp. last month, and is awaiting decisions on additional complaints against HTC and Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co.," she added.
In the ruling, Essex said that "no violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930“¦ has occurred in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain mobile devices and related software" due to patent infringement.
The judge did not elaborate on his decision.
"We are pleased with today´s favorable outcome for Motorola Mobility," said Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility, said in a statement. "Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to develop technology and build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We are proud to leverage this broad and deep portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience."
"One Apple patent issued in October 2010 and expiring in 2019 is for devices that can react to different types of manual input, such as tapping, sliding or pinching. A second, issued in February 2010 and expiring in 2024, is for a touch panel that can recognize multiple touches by the fingers of a user," Decker reported. "The third patent, which was issued in 1995 and expires in 2013, is for a way to add components without having to run an installation program or rebooting."
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