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US judge said Apple violated one Motorola patent, the legal war rages on

April 25, 2012

While it’s far from being a game, set, and match, Motorola Mobility has scored another win in the patent battle against Apple, and is one step closer to having the iPhone and iPad banned from being sold in the US.  From the contested four patent, a US judge has ruled in favor of Motorola for one patent that relates to WiFi technology, and dismissed the other three.

The complaint was filed by Motorola back in October 2010. The patent that Apple is found to have violated is the technology design that helps eliminate noise so that the signals can be clearer, something that Apple said has become an industry standard and one that should be disregarded. Talking to Bloomberg, a spokeswoman for Apple, Kristin Huguet, commented that Motorola has refused to license it on reasonable terms. “A court in Germany has already ruled that Apple did not infringe on this patent, so we believe we will have a very strong case on appeal”, she continued.

The winning party, on the other hand, expressed its satisfaction about the ruling. Motorola Mobility spokeswoman Becki Leonard said that, “We are pleased that the ALJ’s initial determination finds Apple to be in violation of Motorola Mobility’s intellectual property, and look forward to the full commission’s ruling in August.”

Indeed, this is but a temporary setback for Apple. The initial finding will be reviewed by a six-member committee of the International Trade Commission and a complete investigation of the patent infringement case is expected to be finalized by August 23. Even if an import ban of the iPhone and iPad is granted, it will have to be reviewed by the president and a patent law appeals court.

Motorola has also won another patent case yesterday, with another ITC judge saying that Microsoft has violated four Motorola patents that relate to WiFi and video-decoding standards used on the Xbox gaming console. The winning streak will be most welcomed by Google, which acquired Motorola Mobility on the basis of securing its trove of patents.