The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington DC has upheld an April 2013 decision made by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to clear Apple Inc of a patent infringement claim filed by Google Inc’s Motorola. The appellate court has declared that Apple did not breach a patent in the manufacturing of its iPhone as disputed by Motorola.
This serves as another blow to Motorola, which decided to appeal an earlier ITC ruling on the matter. On the other hand, it is another sweet legal victory for Apple, which has been fighting many court battles against its rivals, mostly involving charges pertaining to patent breaches.
Motorola’s legal challenge
Motorola originally approached the trade court to make a complaint against Apple. That could be because ITC has the authority to block importation of products that could be proven to be infringing on any US patent. It should be noted that Apple manufactures its iPhone units overseas. Thus, Motorola was aiming to make iPhones blocked or banned in the US.
It is also noticeable how Motorola decided to pursue appeal focused on just one issue: alleged breach on US Patent 6,272,666 or ‘Method and apparatus in wireless communication system for control of delivery of data.’ This patent centers on a system that provides a cellular network with capabilities of specific handset so it could send only data across network that applies to that device.
Fight against Samsung
However, the appeals court had a slightly different ruling on the case, but it still confirmed ITC’s original declaration. This case is among the many cases fought between device makers over patents. It is not surprising that as a market leader, Apple is being a vulnerable target of several related lawsuits. It is currently fighting a well-publicized and high-profile court battle with staunch rival Samsung Electronics.
The case against Samsung has already been to two jury trials. To date, it is still being deliberated in a California court. The second part of a controversial case between them is due to advance to a jury by March. But both companies have already expressed openness to possible negotiations for settlement, although some insiders are sure that no compromise could be met.
So far, Apple has been on the winning edge over that case. It has already been awarded by a court with a $930 million damage claim from Samsung.
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