Apple cleared of infringing on Motorola patent in ITC case

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A U.S. International Trade Commission judge issued a ruling on Tuesday exonerating Apple of infringing on a Motorola owned patent involving embedded proximity sensors in mobile handsets.

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


In his initial determination, Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender found Motorola's U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862 for a "Sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device" to be invalid, meaning Apple cannot be held in infringement.

The '862 patent covers and infrared proximity sensor that triggers a touchscreen display to shut off when a user's ear is detected, thus avoiding errant touch events. A similar, yet more advanced, system is used in Apple's iPhone line of products.

?We?re disappointed with this outcome and are evaluating our options,? Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson told Bloomberg.

As noted in Judge Pender's ruling, a full determination will be made public after both parties are able to review the document and redact confidential information.

The commission in August ordered Pender to consider a possible violation after it cleared Apple of Motorola Mobility claims related to other patents for 3G technology. This is 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.
Google spent $12.5 billion to buy Motorola Mobility, in large part to obtain its trove of more than 17,000 patents so it had some leverage against Apple, which had been suing Google clients. Apple contends certain phones that run on Mountain View, California-based Google?s Android operating system copied unique features and the look of the iPhone.
The full determination by the judge will become public after both sides get a chance to redact confidential information.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28


    "We're disappointed with this outcome and are evaluating our options,"


     


    Here's one: give up.

  • Reply 2 of 28
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    ...Google spent $12.5 billion to buy Motorola Mobility...

    Right. So whose patent was Apple cleared of infringing?
  • Reply 3 of 28
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,408member


    Heh, how's that 12.5 billion working out for you google?

  • Reply 4 of 28
    Wait! Moto got a patent just for PUTTING a sensor in a phone? That's it? There's nothing special about the sensors? Google spent billions on a patent troll.
  • Reply 5 of 28


    Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

    Google spent billions on a patent troll.


     


    Google is a patent troll. It's like cloning yourself as the opposite gender for one purpose… 

  • Reply 6 of 28
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,684member
    "well played, Google" said no one about the Moto transaction.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post


    Heh, how's that 12.5 billion working out for you google?



     


    So far, about as well as Apple's $2.6 billion investment in Nortel patents.


     


    Or the billions spent on Freescale Semiconductor patents.


     


    Or the unknown hundreds of millions Apple has used to buy mapping companies.


     


    It's like Apple and Google are buying thousands of oysters and hoping that one of them must contain a pearl :)

  • Reply 8 of 28


    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

    So far, about as well as Apple's $2.6 billion investment in Nortel patents.


     


    Or the billions spent on Freescale Semiconductor patents.


     


    Or the unknown hundreds of millions Apple has used to buy mapping companies.



     


    Let's see, 


     


    Apple now designs its own processors, redefining the architecture and setting their own course instead of relying on Samsung. They're also probably redesigning wireless tech, too.


     


    Apple now designs its own processors, redefining the architecture and setting their own course instead of relying on Samsung.


     


    Apple now creates and manages its own maps, redefining mapping systems and setting their own course instead of relying on Google.


     


    Compare that to the Google purchase of Motorola, which has done nothing but bleed money and get patents invalidated.

  • Reply 9 of 28
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


     


    So far, about as well as Apple's $2.6 billion investment in Nortel patents.


     


    Or the billions spent on Freescale Semiconductor patents.


     


    Or the unknown hundreds of millions Apple has used to buy mapping companies.


     


    It's like Apple and Google are buying thousands of oysters and hoping that one of them must contain a pearl :)



     


     


    Apple bought Nortel with a group of others for a different reason than Google bought Motorola. One of the main bidders was a patent troll outfit that likely was going to use the patents to sue companies like Apple. Apple didn't want to be sued over the patents, and wanted leverage if it is sued over LTE.


     


    If the rumors are true, one of the reasons Google bought Motorola was Motorola threatened to go not only after Apple, but other Android vendors like Samsung. I am sure Apple played into it as well. 

  • Reply 10 of 28


    Originally Posted by TBell View Post

    One of the main bidders was a patent troll outfit that likely was going to use the patents to sue companies like Apple.


     


    If the rumors are true, one of the reasons Google bought Motorola was Motorola threatened to go not only after Apple, but other Android vendors like Samsung. I am sure Apple played into it as well. 



     


    When RIM goes under, Apple has to bid for it. Obviously just for what it doesn't physically own and not to actually do anything with the stuff it sells. Same with Nokia, maybe.


     


    It's too dangerous for them not to.

  • Reply 11 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    ?We?re disappointed with this outcome and are evaluating our options,? Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson told Bloomberg.


     


    Motorola spokeswoman? You must be referring to Google's company, "Motorola Mobility."


    At least say, "Motorola Mobility spokeswoman," just for the sake of clarity.


    After all AI always says "Apple subsidiary, Filemaker Inc." whenever referring to it (and it's never referred to as just, "Claris." Get on the stick.

  • Reply 12 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post


    Heh, how's that 12.5 billion working out for you google?



     


    Hehehe...AND they spent another half-billion dollars to cover Moto's losses last year... and THIS year don't look so rosy over at Moto either. Schmidt-for-brains will some day have to unload this albatross... 


     


    Apple has bought a lot of companies over the last 10-12 years but I don'/t think they've spent 12.5 billion dollars in total. 


     


    The only other company I know of that is even close to Google in really dumb acquisitions is HP, and Microsoft is not far behind them.


     


     


  • Reply 13 of 28
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    When RIM goes under, Apple has to bid for it. Obviously just for what it doesn't physically own and not to actually do anything with the stuff it sells. Same with Nokia, maybe.


     


    It's too dangerous for them not to.



     


    image


     


    Love this!


     


    You should licence it to other AppleInsider members under FRAND.

  • Reply 14 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    When RIM goes under, Apple has to bid for it. Obviously just for what it doesn't physically own and not to actually do anything with the stuff it sells. Same with Nokia, maybe.


     


    It's too dangerous for them not to.



    I agree about it being dangerous not to... but there may be anti-trust issues unless the companies are going to be sold off piecemeal and Apple could buy up the patents or other assets. 

  • Reply 15 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


     


    So far, about as well as Apple's $2.6 billion investment in Nortel patents.


     


    Or the billions spent on Freescale Semiconductor patents.


     


    Or the unknown hundreds of millions Apple has used to buy mapping companies.


     


    It's like Apple and Google are buying thousands of oysters and hoping that one of them must contain a pearl :)



    Add them all up and Apple hasn't spent as much in all its acquisitions as Google dumped into Moto. However Apple DID purchases some great assets to be a leader in mobile computing, AND the patents it purchased are more like trading cards in the busiiness, where "I''ll trade you the two patents you want of mine for three of yours..."

  • Reply 16 of 28

    Quote:

    “We’re disappointed with this outcome and are evaluating our options,”


     


    Maybe a large gin and tonic would help?


     


     


     


     


    TS...Apple Is Doomed™


     


     


    shouldn't that be in camel case?


     


  • Reply 17 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    When RIM goes under, Apple has to bid for it. Obviously just for what it doesn't physically own and not to actually do anything with the stuff it sells. Same with Nokia, maybe.


     


    It's too dangerous for them not to.



    Rumor has it that RIM maybe getting some back door help from the likes of VZ and AT&T and a few other services providers. Right now they feel Apple and Google/Samsung have way too much power with the consumers so they need to have a supplier which has not interest in going direct with consumers and cutting into the service providers other income sources. Not sure if they can over come the Apple and Google power but they seem to be interest in making a go of it again.

  • Reply 18 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    When RIM goes under, Apple has to bid for it. Obviously just for what it doesn't physically own and not to actually do anything with the stuff it sells. Same with Nokia, maybe.


     


    It's too dangerous for them not to.



     


    I have friends working for RIM who used to be with QNX. Not a good situation there with so many people jumping ship. In fact, one buddy left to actually work for Apple while another left for Cisco.


     


    However, I think it would be a good idea for Apple to buy RIM if they do go under. But not simply for the assets but to keep BB going. An Apple backed RIM would add instant credibility to the BB platform. Imagine making BB devices using Apple's expertise in the supply chain and with Apple's purchasing power of components.


     


    Although iOS devices are dominating in Enterprise, they still aren't as secure as BB and since Apple doesn't let people modify them they can't be customized or improved. There's a specialized version of the Galaxy S3 that's considered very secure, but only because Android can be modified and the phone is locked down (no access to Google Play or any App store, for example). Apple's biggest threat would be someone taking Android and making an Enterprise version that eliminates all the faults that regular Android has. Samsung has done it for a single phone, but they could easily adapt it to all their devices.


     


    Apple could use BB to target high-security applications and let iOS devices take over everything else (including consumer). They could build a bridge to link iCloud for iOS with BB Enterprise Server to allow both sets of devices to work seamlessly together sharing mail, messages, calendars and everything else.


     


     


    I know, a little off-topic, but these are things I've chatted with my friends at RIM about and they would actually be excited to see something like that happen.

  • Reply 19 of 28


    Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

    TS...Apple Is Doomed™


     


    shouldn't that be in camel case?




     


    *shrug* Should it?





    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

    Rumor has it that RIM maybe getting some back door help from the likes of VZ and AT&T and a few other services providers. Right now they feel Apple and Google/Samsung have way too much power with the consumers so they need to have a supplier which has not interest in going direct with consumers and cutting into the service providers other income sources.


     


    Wow. That seems… viable. Viable but dangerous. I speak from the perspective of the consumer, of course. If the telecoms think they can relive their "glory days", Apple needs to come at them hard.





    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


    However, I think it would be a good idea for Apple to buy RIM if they do go under. But not simply for the assets but to keep BB going. An Apple backed RIM would add instant credibility to the BB platform. Imagine making BB devices using Apple's expertise in the supply chain and with Apple's purchasing power of components.



     


    The only company that Apple runs "separately" is FileMaker. No way is Apple going to keep making BlackBerry (the names alone run against one another).





    …they still aren't as secure as BB…





    Huh? How?


     



    …and since Apple doesn't let people modify them they can't be customized or improved.



     


    Or made less secure. Improvements come from Apple. Customization comes from apps, yeah?


     



    …very secure, but only because Android can be modified and the phone is locked down (no access to Google Play or any App store, for example). 



     


    iOS Parental Controls. And they can be mass-set with Apple Configurator, right?





    I know, a little off-topic, but these are things I've chatted with my friends at RIM about and they would actually be excited to see something like that happen.



     


    Of course they would; it's a fantasy that involves them not losing their jobs! Certainly not that I want to see anyone left jobless, but it's in your best interest to not encourage their thinking in this regard, I think. Slipping hints that they ought to be feeling out others in the industry (coughApplecough) seems like a good course of action, and it prepares them for the worst, even if RIM magically does turn around.

  • Reply 20 of 28


    Ironic that just a few years ago, Motorola and Apple were partnering on the first iTunes compatible phone, the ROKR. Now Motorola's just a nerf hammer used by Google to beat Apple up.

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