Motorola Patent Suit Against Apple Thrown Out by ITC
The U.S. International Trade Commission recently ended a two-and-a-half year patent suit leveraged by Motorola against Apple. The case was thrown out as the last of the six patents in the suit were found to be invalid.
According to the ruling, the ITC found invalid Motorola’s U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862 for a “sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device,” which describes a system that ignores inadvertent screen touches while on a phone call. This chalks up another blow to Google’s quest for an import ban against any iPhones breaching the property according to FOSS Patents
Although the six-member Commission’s final decision didn’t uphold an initial determination from Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender, the effects of the findings are much the same. In his most recent ruling, Judge Pender found Apple to be in infringement of the patent, but noted prior art from another earlier-filed Motorola patent deemed the patent-in-suit invalid for lack of novelty. The decision originally stemmed from an ITC order that Pender consider a possible violation of the patent, which applies to a sensor used to determine the proximity of a person’s head to the device.
The Commission found the Motorola patent to be obvious over the earlier-filed patent along with common knowledge or another patent instead of finding invalidity on Judge Pender’s terms. Motorola’s sensor patent was the last surviving property from its original complaint against Apple, which was first lodged in October 2010. Google has the chance to appeal the ITC decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where another decision on Motorola patens is already being argued. We’ll have to wait and see what comes of the situation.
Source: FOSS Patents