Motorola Mobility claimed success in its legal battle with Apple, after a US International Trade Commission judge ruled no violation of three Apple patents listed in a lawsuit.
According to the recovering handset maker, “Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to develop technology and build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We are proud to leverage this broad and deep portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience.”
The decision is still subject to a review, with the possibility that Apple could appeal the judgement, and the final decision is anticipated for May 2012.
Motorola’s victory is significant, in the light of its mixed success in a recent case with Microsoft – although in this case, the decision was also largely favourable to Motorola. As with the most recent decision, this is also subject to a review, which is likely to be completed in April 2012.
Motorola is in the process of being acquired by Google, in a US$12.5 billion transaction which is at least partially related to its intellectual property holdings. The positive news here comes at a time when the company’s own device business struggles, in the light of tough competition in the Android smartphone market.
But the decision is also significant for Apple, which is in the process of numerous actions against Android device makers – with smartphone number one vendor Samsung (unsurprisingly) its main target.
FOSS Patents said that involving just three patents, its case against Motorola is its smallest, compared with seven (five technical and two design) patents asserted against Samsung, and 15 against HTC across two separate actions. However, one of the key patents in the Motorola suit is also listed in the Samsung action, which could be “adversely affected” by the current decision.
Motorola also has its own complaint against Apple active with the ITC.