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ITC to review decision that cleared Apple of infringing on Motorola patents

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday announced that it will review an administrative law judge's decision that cleared Apple of infringing on certain Motorola patents, which in turn allowed the company to continue iPhone sales in the country.

Motorola Patent
Illustration from Motorola's '862 patent showing a hidden IR proximity sensor (134, 136) located near the speaker.


Specifically, the commission will revisit the validity of a ruling from Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender, who in December cleared Apple of infringement after invalidating a patent owned by Motorola Mobility.

At issue is a proximity sensor patent that shuts off a handset's display when it is raised to a user's ear, thereby preventing errant touches and accidental hang ups. As noted by Bloomberg, the patent is the last assertion remaining in Motorola's case against Apple, as the ITC cleared the iPhone maker of infringing upon declared standards-essential 3G properties in August of 2012.

In his initial determination, Judge Pender found Motorola's U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862 for a "Sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device" was not substantially different from previous art. Motorola claimed that the earlier patent was limited to physical push buttons, while its own property covered touch screens used in modern smartphones.

With the review, the commission said it will focus on the exact meaning of the claim limitation "touch sensitive input device" as asserted in Motorola's patent language.

The six-member commission is scheduled to hand down its final decision on April 22.

post #2 of 6
Clearly invalid.
The use of the sensor on a touch screen phone is no different than it's use on a button phone. That would be like getting a new patent for a microphone "because this time it's on a touch screen phone while last time is was on a phone with buttons."
It makes no sense.
post #3 of 6
Sounds like Google is seeing what its lobbying $$$$ is worth.
post #4 of 6

Ah, but I guess that is not the question. The original ruling invalidated the patent because it wasn't different enough from a previous one (Harris.) So now will Harris sue Apple? I suppose not or they would have sued Motorola (or others.) But hey, this is APPLE!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

Clearly invalid.
The use of the sensor on a touch screen phone is no different than it's use on a button phone. That would be like getting a new patent for a microphone "because this time it's on a touch screen phone while last time is was on a phone with buttons."
It makes no sense.
post #5 of 6

I don't think the USPTO is moved by lobbying money.

All the lobbying money is worth about as much as the 12B (?) they spent to buy Moto (next to nothing) — at least WRT patents, that is.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

Sounds like Google is seeing what its lobbying $$$$ is worth.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

Ah, but I guess that is not the question. The original ruling invalidated the patent because it wasn't different enough from a previous one (Harris.) So now will Harris sue Apple? I suppose not or they would have sued Motorola (or others.) But hey, this is APPLE!

Sounds like harrissment ¡
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