On Friday, The U.S. International Trade Commission completed its review of a Motorola complaint dating back to April of this year. The ITC ruled against an import ban on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, finding that the devices do not infringe on wireless patents owned by Motorola.
Although not as substantial as Friday’s Apple v. Samsung outcome, the six-member Commission at the top of the ITC cleared Apple of infringing on three declared standards-essential Motorola patents, but held off on another as it completed its review of an earlier initial determination, reports FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller.
The fourth patent, a non-standards-essential property, was remanded for investigation to Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender, who initially found one of the claims indefinite, and ruled it was not violated. A reversal of the judge’s initial determination could result in an import ban, but any judgement would again be reviewed by the Commission.
At issue is Motorola’s 2001 U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862 for a “Sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device.”The patent covers a touch interface that is disabled when a device comes into close proximity with the user. Apple uses a similar technology in the iPhone, which uses a sensor to disable the unit’s screen to prevent unintended touch events.