updated 10:20 pm EST, Wed November 24, 2010
ITC to check on Apple complaint vs Motorola
The ITC this week agreed to look into Apple's trade complaint attached to its lawsuit against Motorola. Officials will investigate three of the interface patents at the heart of the dispute. If found violating the patents, Motorola could see nine of its Android phones, among them the Droid 2 and Droid X, banned from import into the US.
An agreement to investigate is common for these complaints and is usually only rejected under special circumstances. The complaints are often simultaneous with lawsuits as well, since any patent findings at the ITC can often be used to support the actual lawsuit.
Apple's main lawsuit was a response to a preemptive Motorola lawsuit over software and wireless technology, which has been widely seen as an attempt to preserve Motorola's Android smartphone business. HTC was sued twice by Apple in a proxy fight with Google over the success of Android and left Motorola as the next most obvious target. Motorola is the most successful Android manufacturer in the US through Verizon's Droid lineup and could be pushed to settle with Apple to keep its first unit gains in years.
No estimate has been given for when the ITC expects to reach a verdict on the patents.