Apple scores key victory in patent battle

By James Barnes

23 April 2013 at 11:09 BST

Californian technology giant Apple has received a significant ruling from the US International Trade Commission after a case brought by Google's Motorola unit was deemed invalid.

Apple: Google lose out despite Motorola acquisition

The Financial Times reports that the ruling is particularly bruising for Google, as its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola was designed to strengthen its patent-fighting ability in the highly combative smartphone market.
Google said it was ‘disappointed’ by the ITC ruling and left the door open for federal appeal by adding they are evaluating their options. Apple declined to comment.

Proximity sensor

The case was first filed by Motorola in 2010, before Google’s takeover in August 2011. If the complaint was upheld, the ITC could have imposed an import ban on Apple’s iPhone device, according to the report.
The claim concerned a patent regarding ‘sensor controlled user interface for a portable communication device’, with the Google unit alleging that the iPhone’s proximity sensor – which turns off the screen when it is held to the ear to prevent accidental button presses – infringed a Motorola patent.


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