ITC judge rules that Apple iPhone and iPad violate one Motorola patent

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: April 24, 2012

iPhone 4S

More news out of the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Motorola today, as a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled that Apple's iPhone and iPad infringed upon one patent out of the four named by Motorola. The patent in question is #6,246,697 and relates to 3G technology. The judge's decision must now be reviewed by a six-person committee.

In response to the ruling, Motorola told All Things D that it was "pleased" with the initial decision and that it's looking forward to full commission's verdict in August. An Apple spokesperson said that the Cupertino is also happy with today's decision since the judge found no violation with three of Motorola's four patents, adding that the final patent "covers industry-standard technology which Motorola has refused to license to Apple on reasonable terms." The spokesperson also said that because a German court has found the patent invalid, Apple thinks that it has a "very strong case" for appeal.

As I mentioned before, today's ruling must be reviewed by the full six-person commission, which could lead to an import ban on the infringing devices. However, Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents thinks that that's unlikely to happen. For now both companies will probably continue to duke it out in court, and it sounds like Apple plans to appeal today's decision. We'll keep you posted on this legal battle as it continues to unravel, so stay tuned.

Via All Things D, Bloomberg, FOSS Patents