ITC to Examine What’s Fair and Reasonable in Apple-Google Patent Fight

Published on June 25, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Apple’s battle with Motorola Mobility is back in play before the U.S. International Trade Commission. On Monday afternoon the trade agency said it will review an April ruling that Apple infringed one of four patents asserted against it by Motorola Mobility, which has since been engulfed by Google. The commission, which has the power to mete out import bans like the one Motorola originally requested on both the iPhone and iPad, is scheduled to issue a final decision in late August.

Driving the ITC’s decision to review the case: Petitions from Apple and Motorola both. Motorola appears to be looking for a standard review concerning claim construction, infringement, validity and domestic industry.

Meanwhile, Apple has made the same request, but it’s also angling for a review of patent unenforceability. That’s worth noting, because the patent on which Motorola originally won this case is a standards-essential one that Apple alleges Motorola refuses to license under fair and reasonable terms.

Evidently Apple is pressing that issue hard with the ITC. According to the agency’s notice of review, it has rallied several outside parties to file public interest statements supporting its arguments. Among those who’ve submitted letters to the ITC: the Federal Trade Commission, the Business Software Alliance, the Association for Competitive Technology, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, Verizon, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft.

Google and Apple both declined comment on the review.

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