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ITC throws out Motorola patent suit against Apple

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday ended a two-and-a-half year patent suit leveraged by Motorola against Apple, throwing out the the case as the last of six patents-in-suit was found to be invalid.

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


The ITC found invalid Motorola's U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862 for a "sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device," which describes a system that ignores inadvertent screen touches while on a phone call, chalking up another blow to Google's quest for an import ban against any iPhones breaching the property, reports FOSS Patents.

While the six-member Commission's final decision did not uphold an initial determination from Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender, the effects of the findings are much the same.

In his most recent ruling, Judge Pender found Apple to be in infringement of the patent, but noted prior art from another earlier-filed Motorola patent deemed the patent-in-suit invalid for lack of novelty. The decision stemmed from an ITC order that Pender consider a possible violation after it cleared Apple of Motorola claims related to other patents for 3G technology. The December finding was the second time the judge has said there was no violation of the patent, which applies to a sensor used to determine the proximity of a person?s head to the device.

Instead of finding invalidity on Judge Pender's terms the Commission found the Motorola patent to be obvious over the earlier-filed patent along with common knowledge or another patent. Motorola's sensor patent was the last surviving property from its original complaint against Apple, first lodged in October 2010.

Google has the chance to appeal the ITC decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where another decision on Motorola patents is already being argued.

post #2 of 28
Looks like those billions spent by Google are really paying off. /s

Schmidt just hit the fan.

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post #3 of 28
I sincerely hope they let it go now. While Google didn't have anything to do with that case they now have a chance to end it.
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post #4 of 28
And Apple's stock will start rebounding. People have been wondering how is it this stock is taking a beating. Wall Street has been betting the lawsuit victories for Apple would be few and far between.

They bet wrong.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

And Apple's stock will start rebounding.

 

The current stock price has little to nothing to do with this lawsuit, regrettably. It's all about Apple giving in to the asinine advice of Wall Street raiders.

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post #6 of 28

Purchasing Motorola = $12.5 Billion dollars

 

Not being able to sue Apple under the Motorola name, while having Samsung overtake your mobile operating system thunder = priceless!

post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

From what I've read, Google paid closer to 1.5b net for motorola. Which, if true, seems like a damn good deal to me.

Uh huh. If you make up numbers and use fuzzy math, it's amazing what you can come up with.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post


From what I've read, Google paid closer to 1.5b net for motorola. Which, if true, seems like a damn good deal to me.

 

 Google paid 12.9 billion in cash. Motorola had cash on hand bringing the true cost down, but I assume it also had debt perhaps bringing the cost up. On top of that, Google has had to cover Motorola losses since the purchase. Whether it was a good investment or not, I suppose only time will tell. The true cost is hard to tell.


Edited by TBell - 4/22/13 at 4:08pm
post #9 of 28
yes that is some good info
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

By fuzzy, I assume you're talking about the tax benefits. Even discounting that, there's nothing fuzzy about the 2.35b sale of the setup box division, or the 3b in cash Motorola had on hand. So the high price that Google paid is around 7b.

So in your world, $7 B (even if your numbers are correct) is the same as $1.5 B?

See what I mean about fuzzy math?
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post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

And after seeing how their hardware lineup has expanded this past year, the purchase is starting to make a lot of sense.

 

Because Motorola phones are selling like hotcakes (with profits dripping off them like honey), right?

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post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post


At the time of purchase, when all we knew were 12.9b and patents, I couldn't understand why Google went for it either. But looking at the deal closer and how Google had evolved over the past year, I can understand their rationale. At 7b, they're paying less per patent than the Nortel deal, and that's assuming a zero valuation on the rest of Motorola. And after seeing how their hardware lineup has expanded this past year, the purchase is starting to make a lot of sense.

 



Moto Mobility was split out to avoid the massive blood letting of Motorola proper. Its IP Portfolio is junk and was told by many experts to be junk. Google is using those junk patents in an attempt to stall Apple through legal channels while it pushing hard on its R&D/IP to catch up.

It's not working. Samsung is doing the same and both are not working. Apple has doubled and will triple it's R&D/IP developed Patents in-house this year alone from two years ago never mind the war chest of patents they've purchased for the long-haul.

Sorry, but Google should be seeing it's position go up with positive earnings reports. Instead, it's stagnant.

What's truly ironic with all these watershed doom and gloom reports on Apple is the fact that Apple has triple the Revenue, quadruple the income profits over the past 12 months and it's just getting started.

All those billions being invested in datacenter build outs by Apple, the new main campus, the massive influx of R&D are all signs that Steve's vision is going according to plan.

This crack about Tim losing confidence with the Board is a crock of crap. Apple designs and builds for 5 year growth patterns. We're just about to enter a new one.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

The current stock price has little to nothing to do with this lawsuit, regrettably. It's all about Apple giving in to the asinine advice of Wall Street raiders.

 

Sorry, but Wall Street follows the hundreds of lawsuits going on and projects damages accordingly.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

I'm sorry. I thought you had a problem with fuzzy math, but now I see what the real issue is--you can't read worth a damn.

Here, let me point out the important bits to make it easier for someone of your level to understand:



any questions?

Sure. Why are you accusing someone else of being unable to read when your posts are so ridiculous?

In post 7, you said:
"From what I've read, Google paid closer to 1.5b net for motorola. Which, if true, seems like a damn good deal to me."

In post 9, you said:
"So the high price that Google paid is around 7b."

Now, please explain how $7 B is the same as $1.5 B. Or, for that matter, explain why you're throwing around numbers that vary by a factor of more than 4 over just a few minutes' time.

And when you're through with that, feel free to explain what you think they actually paid - without playing stupid number games.

Now, it's clear that you're going to pretend that there was a tax break worth $5.5 B. But if that's the case, you were lying when you said that they paid $7 B? And why have you not provided any evidence to back your claim?
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post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

At the time of purchase, when all we knew were 12.9b and patents, I couldn't understand why Google went for it either. But looking at the deal closer and how Google had evolved over the past year, I can understand their rationale. At 7b, they're paying less per patent than the Nortel deal, and that's assuming a zero valuation on the rest of Motorola. And after seeing how their hardware lineup has expanded this past year, the purchase is starting to make a lot of sense.

The deal might make sense, but my point was you can't tell how much it cost because of the unknown debt Motorola was carrying and the known losses Motorola has since suffered. The patents haven't paid off yet.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

 Google paid 12.9 billion in cash. Motorola had cash on hand bringing the true cost down, but I assumeit alsohaddebt perhaps bringing the cost up. On top of that, Google has had to cover Motorola losses since the purchase. Whether it was a good investment or not, I suppose only time will tell. The true cost is hard to tell.

At the time of purchase, when all we knew were 12.9b and patents, I couldn't understand why Google went for it either. But looking at the deal closer and how Google had evolved over the past year, I can understand their rationale. At 7b, they're paying less per patent than the Nortel deal, and that's assuming a zero valuation on the rest of Motorola. And after seeing how their hardware lineup has expanded this past year, the purchase is starting to make a lot of sense.

Keep in mind that Motorola Mobility never turned a profit (ever) so we can assume those other divisions are likely even less profitable now. The STB division was probably the only one making money and they got rid of that. That patents have not proven themselves to be particularly useful. Google still makes little or no money on Android. It is hard to see this as a "good" deal. It may not be the end of Google.

The only thing that may make some sense out of that purchase is Google Fiber. There are no positive Android results from the purchases (so far).
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

 

 Google paid 12.9 billion in cash. Motorola had cash on hand bringing the true cost down, but I assume it also had debt perhaps bringing the cost up. On top of that, Google has had to cover Motorola losses since the purchase. Whether it was a good investment or not, I suppose only time will tell. The true cost is hard to tell.

Those Motomo losses have added up to another cool billion over the last two years. Now, we learn that the patent portfolio has turned out to be worthless as a tool to stall competition. That leave a manufacturing plant that even Google won't use when they want phones... 

post #18 of 28
Now motorala still have the older patents to use if this is obvious innovation based on them. Unfortunately for Motorola, they must predate the invalidated one so probably only have a few years to run. Maybe not enough time to run through the courts.

The patent system is a mess and all major brands are donating millions to lawyers for patents that keep getting invalidated.

Maybe all parties should sue the patent office for issuing patents that do not hold up based on things that they should have known about. Might cause them to get their act together.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday ended a two-and-a-half year patent suit leveraged by Motorola against Apple, throwing out the the case as the last of six patents-in-suit was found to be invalid.

Google has the chance to appeal the ITC decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where another decision on Motorola patents is already being argued.

So has the case ended or not? \confused

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdeFowler View Post

So has the case ended or not? \confused

Done unless Moto wishes to appeal it. Personally I hope it's done and over.

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post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Those Motomo losses have added up to another cool billion over the last two years. Now, we learn that the patent portfolio has turned out to be worthless as a tool to stall competition.  

Out of 17,000+ patents Motorola held they used what, a dozen or so in these three or four IP cases? From those you can tell the other 16,988+ are worthless? These are all lawsuits started by Motorola long before Google even made an offer to buy them. None happened after Google took over. I suspect in the 20,000+ patents that Google has now that more than a few would cause severe migraines for competitors if they were a litigious company. Fortunately for the industry they are not. There's already plenty of lawsuits to go around.

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post #22 of 28

For those interested, the ITC decision is available here:

 

http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/337/337_745_Notice04222013sgl.pdf

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Done unless Moto wishes to appeal it. Personally I hope it's done and over.

Done as far as an injunction through the ITC is concerned.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

And Apple's stock will start rebounding. People have been wondering how is it this stock is taking a beating. Wall Street has been betting the lawsuit victories for Apple would be few and far between.

They bet wrong.

You are pretty much always correct in your opinions so here's hoping you continue that way! 1smile.gif
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post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post




Moto Mobility was split out to avoid the massive blood letting of Motorola proper. Its IP Portfolio is junk and was told by many experts to be junk. Google is using those junk patents in an attempt to stall Apple through legal channels while it pushing hard on its R&D/IP to catch up.


It's not working. Samsung is doing the same and both are not working. Apple has doubled and will triple it's R&D/IP developed Patents in-house this year alone from two years ago never mind the war chest of patents they've purchased for the long-haul.


Sorry, but Google should be seeing it's position go up with positive earnings reports. Instead, it's stagnant.


What's truly ironic with all these watershed doom and gloom reports on Apple is the fact that Apple has triple the Revenue, quadruple the income profits over the past 12 months and it's just getting started.


All those billions being invested in datacenter build outs by Apple, the new main campus, the massive influx of R&D are all signs that Steve's vision is going according to plan.


This crack about Tim losing confidence with the Board is a crock of crap. Apple designs and builds for 5 year growth patterns. We're just about to enter a new one.

Amen to that (and that's coming from an atheist! ).
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post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

 



Moto Mobility was split out to avoid the massive blood letting of Motorola proper. Its IP Portfolio is junk and was told by many experts to be junk. Google is using those junk patents in an attempt to stall Apple through legal channels while it pushing hard on its R&D/IP to catch up.

That's an odd claim to make. Google hasn't used Motorola patents against Apple. Not even one time. In fact they haven't used Moto's patents against anyone at all have they? I think you have what Apple and Google hope to accomplish with lawsuits reversed if anything.


Edited by Gatorguy - 4/23/13 at 7:35am
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post #27 of 28

What Mueller writes when Nokia loses patent challenges against Android.

 

   "Just like other litigants in this industry, Nokia is experiencing a fairly high drop-out rate of its patent infringement claims against its rivals. . . The dismissal of a second Nokia lawsuit targeting Google Play is a significant achievement for (HTC' and Google) ...

 

   Then he goes on to write  "The aforementioned afternoon trial didn't go much better for Nokia than the one in the morning. The divisional (EP'167) Nokia is asserting only against ViewSonic is too narrow in the court's opinion to read on the accused technology, which is the auto-save feature of the Android email client. The court is inclined to find the broader EP'077 infringed, but it strongly doubts its validity, making a stay the most likely outcome and an outright dismissal the second-most likely one."

 

   "So far, three Nokia v. HTC lawsuits have been dismissed and a couple of others have been stayed voluntarily. HTC's countersuits will likely be adjudged in the late summer. It's unclear how much leverage Nokia will have at a point at which HTC may finally win something."

 

So how does Mueller spin it when a Google rival loses an IP assertion against Android or one of it's licensees?

   "Nokia does have some gems in its patent portfolio, but it takes dozens of patent assertions to identify them. "

http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/04/german-court-dismisses-another-nokia.html

 

But when Motorola (Google) loses a patent assertion against a rival he says this:

   "Google won't be able to address Android's wide-scale patent infringement issues through litigation over Motorola's patents, which have given it no real leverage so far and probably never will."

http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/04/setback-for-google-german-court-finds.html

 

Funny stuff.

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post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

 

Sorry, but Wall Street follows the hundreds of lawsuits going on and projects damages accordingly.

 

I've heard little of that angle from the cadre of loudmouth Apple analysts.

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