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The US Trade Commission Finds Google's Sensor Control Patent against Apple is Invalid

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Google is on a legal losing streak of late. On Friday a German court denied Google's Motorola an injunction against Microsoft over a push notification patent that is most likely invalid. Today the United States International Trade Commission threw out the last patent-in-suit (PDF) remaining in the investigation of Motorola's October 2010 complaint against Apple. U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862 on a "sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device" was found invalid. The patent relates to the feature that a touch screen ignores touches if the user is on a phone call and holds the device close to his head. Google wanted the ITC to ban the importation of any iPhones with that feature into the U.S. market.

Then again, according to FOSS Patents, Google can appeal this decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where an appeal of the ITC's previous decision to throw out three other Motorola patents is underway.


This patent war between Apple, Google/Motorola and Samsung is likely to be fought tooth and nail until the bitter end which could take years if not a decade to resolve. Last month there were cries that Apple lost their "rubber banding" and "pinch to zoom" patents but Apple made it clear that they would fight it on appeal through every avenue possible. Whether Motorola will do the same is unknown at this time, but history says they will.


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