A United States International Trade Commission judge recently exonerated Apple Corporation of any wrongdoing or infringement on a patent owned by Motorola.
Judge Thomas P. Bender of the U.S. International Trade Commission has recently exonerated Apple Incorporated of any infringement on Motorola’s patent on embedded proximity sensors. The Administrative Law Judge found that Motorola’s patent number 6,246, 862 for a “sensor controlled user interface” for a portable communication device was invalid, and Apple cannot be held liable for any infringement on the device.
The Patent by Motorola they claim Apple violated explained the device to be an infrared proximity sensor that would trigger a touch screen when it detected a user’s ear, which is often a problem with many touch screen smartphones. This very same feature is on the Apple iPhone as well.
In August 2011 Google announced they would be buying up Motorola Mobility for around 12.5 billion dollars (U.S.). This buy was part of Google’s official transition from a simple search engine company to full-fledged consumer mobile electronics maker. Both the European and U.S. antitrust government agencies approved the deal soon after the announcement even though many rival companies worried it would result in unfair trade.
Google’s purchase of Motorola gave the company more than 17,000 patents along with more than 7,000 that needed further approval. Google announced that the purchase of Motorola Mobility was to prevent any future lawsuits from competitors like Apple and Microsoft that have been eyeing Google’s popular Android operating system.
Nevertheless, Apple has vehemently argued time and again that Android has violated many of their patents. They have also claimed the Android operating system from Google has copied many distinct features adopted by Apple for their iPhone line of smartphones.
This latest contest with Apple came just days after they decided they would allow Google Maps back onto the iPhones. On December 12th Google announced on its official blog that Google Maps would be available in the Apple App Store. “People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store,” reads the official Google Blog. “It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.”
Both Apple and Google have quickly rose to become to very powerful competitors in the mobile device market and it leaves only more questions about what lawsuits and new devices we’ll see in the near future.