Apple Wins Ruling at ITC, Moto Patent Found Invalid

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Apple vs. MotoThe International Trade Commission (ITC) handed a victory to Apple on Tuesday, ruling that Apple didn't infringe on a patent owned by Motorola Mobility. Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender also ruled that the patent in question is invalid, making possible infringement problematic.

Bloomberg reported that the ruling pertains to a proximity sensor, and that this is the second time Judge Pender has ruled that Apple does not infringe the patent. As with other ITC cases, this is just a preliminary ruling. Judge Pender's decision will be reviewed by the full panel of ITC judges at a later date.

Details of the ruling, including the reason the patent was found invalid, were not released by the ITC as the case still has far to go.

“We’re disappointed with this outcome and are evaluating our options,” Jennifer Erickson, a spokeswoman for Motorola Mobility, told Bloomberg.

While the case began when Moto was an independent company, the firm is now owned by Google. Google ponied up US$12.5 billion for Moto in 2011, and the sale was finalized in May of 2012.

In October, Google withdrew a separate ITC claim against Apple just two weeks after the ITC agreed to hear the case. In August, the Commission ruled that Apple did not violate three other patents held by Moto.

While we're at it, earlier on Tuesday Apple was denied an import ban on Samsung devices for that company's patent infringement, while Samsung's motion for jury misconduct was also rejected. In Europe, Samsung agreed to drop requests for import bans against Apple based on standards-essential patents (SEPs), but is still pursuing damages and licensing agreements for those patents.

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John Dingler, artist

Do comments work yet?

John Dingler, artist

No, there is no proof that comments work yet, only that the previous comment worked. Another test.

John Dingler, artist

So, I sent this yesterday but the code disallowed it so, you know, I am re-replying now:

“In general, is Apple winning, is it stalemated, or is it losing? If it’s stalemated, it means that it must continue to pursue patenting in order to avoid generally losing but, if it’s losing overall, then it seems to indicate that even patenting all that it can may not be worth the mental and money drain.

I dunno. It would be nice for someone comfortable about the patent field at TMO to offer an evaluation of the efficacy of Apple’s patent effort so far taking into acct. its cases moving through litigation as well as prognostications which would be fun because it would be daring, but also advice to Apple and other such innovators.”

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