To Top

Apple Wins Proximity Sensor Lawsuit Against Motorola

[Photo Source: SiliconAngle]

[Photo Source: SiliconAngle]

Apple vs Motorola, Apple vs. Samsung, Apple vs. some Mexican I.T. firm (over iFone patent), Apple vs. Gradiente (Brazilian company who patented the iphone name) – these are only a few firms whom the Cupertino-based company clashed in the court. It seems that major companies are trying to dominate the market not only by the numbers but also by invoking their patents nowadays.

Unfortunately, the company founded by Steve Jobs had its many share of losses over the heated court battles. So, a significant amount money was lost and reputations were tainted over the process. The only clear winners after the fight were the lawyers who were paid a lot regardless of the victor. But this time, the company scored a win in the Apple vs Motorola case which was presented in the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The Subject of the Lawsuit

According to Bloomberg, the subject of the case was the alleged infringement of Apple of a series of patents owned by Motorola. The patents which were supposedly copied ranged from the technology to minimize static noise up to the function that would prevent the accidental activation of the touchscreen feature of the phone when it is in contact with the face or other parts of the body while being used in calls. If found guilty of copying any of the patents, Apple would risk losing the right to import its iPhone units in the U.S. soil.

The Result

The outcome would definitely mean a big loss to the company if the complainant won since U.S. is among Apple’s top markets. Plus, considering that the product in question is their flagship product, it definitely does not look good if the respondent was found guilty.

However, it was not the fate of iPhone to go down the drain in the U.S. market yet. The brainchild of the late Jobs prevailed from one patent in question to another.

About the Last Card of Google

In a report by Ars Technica, the last one to be presented in the court was Motorola’s Patent No. 6,246,862. The name of the patent was “sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device”. In other words, it is the proximity sensor which was mentioned in the early part of this article that prevented the activation of apps when close to the face.

I bet all the fingers of the top execs of Google had their fingers crossed during the course of the heated court confrontation because this would have been their last card that could topple the iPhone brand. But somehow, the late Apple CEO probably managed to ask for one miracle on the other side that guaranteed them a clean sweep.

The Reason

The ITC simply ruled that the concept of the patent was too obvious to be awarded patent protection said in a related news by Reuters. This is because the patent was already inherent in previous innovations the report added.

The Aftermath of the Apple vs Motorola Case

The spokesperson on the side of Motorola said that the company is reviewing its options after the ruling. On the other hand, Apple declined to comment on the matter.

Source: Ars Technica, Bloomberg and Reuters

More in Apple