Apple ITC loss against Motorola highlights fading patent mojo

Apple is starting to hit roadblocks in its battle against Android phones and patent suits in the United States and abroad.

Several months ago, it looked like Apple was becoming unstoppable in the courts when it came to patent infringement suits against Android manufacturers -- at least abroad.

Apple managed to secure (at least temporarily) bans against the sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab devices in Australia and Europe, although most of those have been overturned if they were ever enforced.

Yet, Apple has not really been as successful in its fight against Android over patents in the United States.

Today, the U.S. Trade Commission found that Motorola, in particular, does not violate Apple's patents on several of the Droid smartphones along with a few others, dealing a huge blow to Apple's seemingly global legal campaign.

CNET reports that the ruling is still a preliminary one, which needs to be approved by the full ITC commission.

Nevertheless, this isn't the first major loss in recent memory for Apple. In fact, the Cupertino company has hit several roadblocks in the last two months, possibly signaling a major turning point for the company's influence and power both in the U.S. and Europe.

Let's take a look at some other recent cases:

On the flip side, Apple's opponents have been far less successful in securing and then enforcing bans against the sale of Apple products nearly anywhere. Apple also seems to be on a roll against HTC.

However, it's beginning to become very clear that Apple is not as untouchable nor unbreakable as it might have seemed a year ago.

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