updated 05:07 pm EST, Tue January 8, 2013
Could leave door open for import ban against Apple devices
Late on Monday, Motorola Mobility filed a petition hoping to keep a complaint against Apple with the US International Trade Commission alive, says FOSS Patents. Earlier, an administrative law judge had ruled that a patent covering the deactivation of a touchscreen when lifting a phone to the ear was invalid, due to an existing Motorola patent making it non-novel. On remand, though, Judge Thomas Pender said there was indeed an infringement by Apple, and ruled that the ITC's domestic industry requirement had been met. If Motorola can convince the ITC to reject the earlier invalidation, it may leave the door open for a future import ban against some Apple devices.
Apple, meanwhile, has submitted a contingent petition for review, hoping to actually block any review that might overturn the invalidation argument. If it goes through, it could prevent any import ban unless Motorola wins an appeal. Should the ITC grant Motorola's request, though, Apple's petition is said to offer theories that might let it defend itself even if the touchscreen patent is ruled valid.