ITC Rules in Favor of Motorola in Apple Patent Infringement Lawsuit

By Joseph Mandour on January 24, 2012

Patent Infringement LawsuitSan Diego – Apple recently lost another major battle in a patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola Corp. when the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Motorola, saying that it did not infringe on three Apple patents.

In its patent infringement complaint, Apple contended that Motorola’s Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq, BackFlip, Devour and Charm phones infringed on three of its patents, two of which are related to touch screen technology. The third patent allegedly infringed expires in 2013 and covers technology for components being added without the need for installation programs.

Apple’s complaint, filed with the ITC in October 2010, was in response to the Illinois-based Motorola filing civil lawsuits and ITC complaints against Apple, targeting its iPhone, iPad, and MacBook technologies. Both companies are also currently wrapped up in several patent infringement disputes with other manufacturers of smartphones.

Details were not made available on the reasoning for the ITC ruling for Motorola and has yet to be reviewed by a six-person commission, which retains the power to overturn it. The decision is usually upheld by the commission, however it is not uncommon for it to make a change or changes.

It appears that this dispute is just one factor in Apple’s efforts in a much larger strike to thwart Google’s Android platform and the smartphone manufacturers running it. Apple is also embroiled in patent infringement lawsuits against HTC and Samsung over their alleged infringement of Apple technology in use of the Android operating system. Much of the ambition behind these lawsuits reportedly comes from late Apple Cofounder Steve Jobs, who was once quoted as saying he was planning to wage “thermonuclear war” against the Android platform, which he believed was stolen technology.

Regarding the ITC patent infringement complaints the tech world has waged against one another, these types of lawsuits tend to level the playing field for intellectual property disputes because they can be less costly. However, they can also take years to reach a conclusion. The filings with the ITC are simply administrative hearings which can be quickly resolved. Many technology giants are increasingly using this platform as a way to hit the competitor where it hurts the most, by attempting to stop the importation of infringing products.

No comments were available from Apple and Motorola regarding the latest dispute.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement