ITC to Revisit Previous Decision between Apple and Motorola
The U.S. International Trade Commission recently announced that it will be reviewing an administrative law judge’s decision that previously cleared Apple of infringing on certain Motorola patents, which in turn allowed the company to continue iPhone sales in the country. More specifically, the commission will be revisiting the validity of a ruling from the Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender.
One of the issues brought up is a proximity sensor patent that shuts off a handset’s display when it is raised to a user’s ear, thereby preventing errant touches and accidental hang ups. As pointed out by the folks at Bloomberg
, the patent is the last assertion remaining in Motorola’s case against Apple since the ITC previously cleared the Cupertino California company of infringing upon declared standard-essential 3G properties in August of last year.
In the initial determination, Judge Pender found that Motorola’s U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862 for "Sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device" was not substantially different. Motorola ended up claiming that the earlier patent was limited to physical push buttons while its own property covered touch screens used in modern smartphones. As of right now, the commission is said to focus on the exact meaning of the claim limitation of “touch sensitive input device” as asserted in Motorola’s patent language with this review. The commission has scheduled to make the final decision on April 22.