ITC throws out Motorola patent suit against Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,486member
    Looks like those billions spent by Google are really paying off. /s

    Schmidt just hit the fan.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,225member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,317member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,486member

    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.

  • Reply 5 of 32
    DaekwanDaekwan Posts: 174member


    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!

  • Reply 6 of 32
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Daekwan wrote: »
    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!

    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.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    majjo wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    jragosta wrote: »
    Uh huh. If you make up numbers and use fuzzy math, it's amazing what you can come up with.

    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.

    Even at that price, purchasing a company with device hardware expertise (say what you want about Motorola, but their phones have been pretty well built), right when Google is expanding their hardware offerings (expanded nexus lineup, chrome book pixel, glass) looks like a good idea in the long run.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 32
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    tbell wrote: »
     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.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    yes that is some good info
  • Reply 12 of 32
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    majjo wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 32
    sennensennen Posts: 1,466member

    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?

  • Reply 14 of 32
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,317member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    jragosta wrote: »
    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?

    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:
    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.
    By fuzzy, I assume you're talking about the tax benefits. Even discounting that
    fuzzy
    discounting

    any questions?
  • Reply 16 of 32
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,317member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    majjo wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 32
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    jragosta wrote: »
    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?

    Where did I say 7b is the same as 1.5b? go ahead and point that out for me.

    What I said is that Google paid 1.5b net. If you discount the amount that can be considered fuzzy, which I inferred were the tax benefits of the purchase, then the amount goes up to about 7b maximum.

    I don't consider the 2.35b google got for the home division or the 3b in cash 'fuzzy' since it has been well documented.

    Now, the fuzzy part. The tax benefit to Google is estimated at 700M per year up to 2019, plus an immediate 1B from US losses and another 700M from foreign losses.

    So, 12.9B - 2.35B - 3B - 1B - 0.7B - (0.7B * 6 years) = 1.65B

    any more questions?
  • Reply 19 of 32
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    majjo wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    majjo wrote: »
    tbell wrote: »
     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).
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