ITC rules Apple infringed on a Motorola patent

Nokia and Qualcomm negotiate patent rights in court

A judge from the International Trade Commission today ruled in favor of Motorola in its patent infringement case against Apple. The ITC decided that Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices infringe U.S. patent no. 6,246,697. The legalities of patent cases are extremely confusing, but what we’ve all come to realize is these kind of decisions are always subject to review by a full panel of ITC judges.

In this case, patent ‘697 covers a method of generating a pseudonoise sequence in a wireless communication system, and was one of four patents originally asserted against Apple in this ITC matter. Of course, Apple from day one has disagreed with Motorola’s accusations, saying that the patents in question covers standards-essential wireless technology that Motorola has refused to license under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Ultimately, the ITC won’t be able to settle this, instead, it’s likely the issue will be decided by the courts.

This patent stuff is really annoying, but truth is, companies wouldn’t have to spar in courtrooms all day if the patent system had an overhaul. That being said, the full commission will now review the judge’s decision and issue a final ruling in August. So, we’ll be hearing a lot more about the patent battle between both Apple and Motorola for the upcoming months ahead — yay.

[via Reuters]

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