Apple and Motorola Mobility are locked in a bitter legal battle. Recently, Motorola was able to get permission for an injunction against Apple which a German court sanctioned. Now, Apple has apparently suffered another major setback as the International U.S. Trade Commission has cleared Motorola of the charges of patent infringement that Apple had levelled against it.
This legal battle between Motorola and Apple goes much beyond just two companies.A six-member commission of ITC looked into the matter in detail and after an initial review, found that Motorola did not really infringe upon the patents that Apple had claimed.
Motorola was the first of the two to launch a patent attack against Apple. Apple then responded by filing this complaint with ITC in 2010. Now that ITC has rejected Apple’s complaints, this means a major setback for Apple. Google also has been looking at the progress of the legal battle between Apple and Motorola with a keen interest. This is because Google has almost acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The major benefit for Google in this acquisition is that it will also get 25,000 patents many of which are crucial for the wireless industry. And so, the company would definitely not want a number of patent-infringement allegations to come as part of the package.
Google expressed this directly by being vocally critical of Apple’s attempts to drag other companies into courts over very minor patent issues, “Should the Commission enter an exclusion order, it will reward Apple for asserting patented technologies that are, at best, minor components of the accused products. Apple needs no protection from the forces of the market; it is the largest seller of mobile devices, with a record $46.33 billion in recent quarterly revenue and $13.06 billion in quarterly net profit.”
The three patents which were in question in this ITC case included U.S. Patent No.7,812,828, No.7,663,607 and No.5,379,430. Two of these patents deal with the touchscreen interfaces whereas a third is about ‘object-oriented system locator system.’