The International Trace Commission (ITC) has ruled that Apple didn’t infringe two patents owned by Google’s Motorola Mobility unit for wireless technologies used throughout the electronics industry. However, the ITC didn’t completely resolve the companies’ dispute, ordering a trade judge to reconsider Motorola Mobility’s claim that Apple violated another patent, reports “Bloomberg” (http://macte.ch/iU7rz).
The judge previously found no violation of that patent, which applies to a sensor used to determine the proximity of a person’s head to the phone so it doesn’t accidentally hang up. The commission could have stopped shipments of the iPhone and iPad at the border had it upheld Judge Thomas Pender’s earlier finding that Apple infringed a patent for 3G technology. That determination had prompted criticism that the agency shouldn’t ban imports of products that infringe patents related to technological standards used by an entire industry, notes “Bloomberg.”
All this is part of an ongoing battle between the two companies. Apple has previously alleged that Motorola infringes 24 of its patents (21 of them with Android-based phones, the remaining three with set-top boxes and DVRs), while Motorola previously asserted 18 patents against a variety of Apple products (mostly but not exclusively iPhone, iPad and iPod). Litigation between the two companies has taken place in several different federal courts.
In November 2010 Apple sued Motorola, alleging that the company’s smartphone lineup and the operating software it uses infringe on the iPhone-maker’s intellectual property. The two lawsuits came after Motorola sued Apple in October 2010 for patent infringement. Motorola claims that Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and certain Mac computers infringe Motorola patents.