Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) gets a win against Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) but it can't celebrate just yet. Maybe it's just the generally negative or skeptical momentum building against Apple, but at this point it seems that when Cupertino gets a break, it can't get a break.
It was reported Tuesday that the U.S. International Trade Commission, upon request of Motorola Mobility, will take a full review of a ruling by an ITC judge who sided with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in a patent-infringement case brought by Motorola Mobility which could have resulted in an U.S. import ban against iPhone devices that were in violation of the patent.
ITC Judge Thomas Pender ruled that the Motorola Mobility patent in question - a sensor which prevents accidental phone call hang-ups when the handset is near a person's face - is actually invalid, ruling that the patent is not distinct enough to be separated from another patent that prevent accidental dialings. Motorola Mobility has argued that the previous patent applied to push keys not touch screens. Pender ruled that if the patent was valid, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would be ruled as infringing. The full Commission agreed to review the case, investigating not only the validity of the patent in the first place, but also the infringement, which Apple is countering if the patent is ruled valid.
In this patent case, Motorola Mobility filed suit in 2010, pushing for a U.S. import ban on all iPhones that were found to have infringed the patent. Pender ruled on this in December, and the full commission says it expects to issue a final ruling by late April. This is the last part of a case in which Apple was found in August to have not infringed on two Motorola Mobility patents related to 3G wireless technology.
What do you think? Can Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ultimately win this case, or can Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) win on this patent and earn an import ban against the iPhone? We'd like your thoughts on this in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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