Apple has won a small victory in its long standing case against Google's Motorola, reports Bloomberg, after the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) upheld an earlier invalidation of a patent that threatened imports of the iPhone 4 into the U.S.

The decision marks the latest instance in which neither Cupertino, California-based Apple nor Google has been able to strike a decisive blow against its competitor in a squabble that began more than two years ago. Each has claimed the other is infringing patents, and Apple accused Motorola Mobility of breaching obligations to license some of its most widely used technology on fair terms.

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Patent No. 6,246,862 references a "sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device," or the sensor in the iPhone that prevents the phone from being activated when close to a user's face.

The dispute between Motorola and Apple began in 2010 after Motorola filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming the Cupertino-based company infringed on eighteen of Motorola's patents. After being acquired by Google, Motorola expanded its charges against Apple, stating that the company violated six patents having to do with iCloud.

The patent that was invalidated today is the final patent in the above mentioned case, with all other charges against Apple previously cleared by the ITC. Google will likely appeal the decision, thus further extending the litigation between the two companies.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Scola chastised Apple and Google for their patent disagreements, stating that the two had "no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute." He gave the companies four months to streamline the case before it would be put on hold.

Top Rated Comments

newagemac Avatar
145 months ago
It seems that there's no end to Apple's new habit of using litigation as a sales & marketing tool. Headlines are something Apple has always used to their advantage. Going forward I'm sure they'll continue to prevail. It's a core strength for them.
Say what??? This is a lawsuit that Motorola/Google brought against Apple. Try paying better attention next time. Nice trolling attempt though. Unfortunately, no one's buying it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rajani Isa Avatar
145 months ago
If you had read my post, you would have seen that I did _NOT_ talk specifically about who sued who, in this... one, of many legal battles Apple is involved in. Some of which they originated, some of which they did not. Only those following Apple closely would know that.

Interesting how you seem to think so highly of yourself, that you can speak for others, then resort to juvenile name calling. Perhaps that's just the tactic it took to make you feel better. If so, good for you :)
The way you posted, however, implied that you thought THIS lawsuit was originated by Apple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saladinos Avatar
145 months ago
Apple (and Microsoft) have been making a lot of wins lately, and Google and their partners have been suffering a lot of losses.

There's even talk that Microsoft is about to get Google Maps banned in Germany. Apple's win over Samsung was too drawn out (and even now hasn't resulted in an injunction), but this is a real nuclear bomb as far as Google are concerned.

If Google are forced to settle with Microsoft, the whole game is turned on its head. Any deal with inevitably involve a patent royalty attached to Android.

At the same time, Microsoft is about to get a license to Motorola's patents. A US Judge has apparently set a FRAND rate for Motorola's standard-essential patents that MS wasn't already licensed to. Microsoft have already agreed to pay the court-determined rate.

The terms of that are going to be released this Friday. If Apple like them, they can also take a license at that same rate. They could also appeal for a lower rate based on invalidations or whatever if they don't like them.

So yeah, it's heating up.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SockRolid Avatar
145 months ago
Apple: "(yawn...) So what's for lunch?"

Motorola: "Dang. Why can't we win against Apple ever?"

Google: "Is it too late to dump Motorola and get our $12.5 billion back?"
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IJ Reilly Avatar
145 months ago
Say what you like, but it sure beat losing a victory.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
monkor Avatar
145 months ago
Both companies are starting to chafe my cheeks with the litigation storm.

That being said: 'Murica.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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