ITC to revisit Motorola's win over Apple: U.S. iPhone ban looms?

Summary:The ITC is to revisit Motorola's initial win over Apple in a patent infringement case that could ultimately see Apple's products banned from import to the United States.

The U.S. International Trade Commission will revisit an initial ruling made in April that stated Apple had infringed on one of Motorola Mobility's patents.

The Google-owned smartphone maker had initially put four patent claims forward. ITC judge Thomas Pender said only one patent relating to noise elimination during voice calls had been infringed, and agreed to Motorola's initial determination.

A full ITC ruling is expected later this summer.

The ITC has the power to prevent any product imported to the U.S, which is fitting seeing as Motorola took the case to see infringing devices stopped at the border.

Therefore, once the case is revisited and a decision made, Apple could see imported iPhones and 3G-enabled iPads entering the United States.

Motorola had asked the ITC to reopen the case --- as did Apple --- though for two separate reasons. Motorola saw one of its patents used in the battle ruled as invalid, while Apple flat out claims it had not infringed Motorola's patents and doesn't want to see its imported iPhones and iPads barred from U.S. entry.

The ITC wants Apple and Motorola to answer further questions, including which patents were licensed under "fair and reasonable" (FRAND) terms.

The commission also said it would take into account "the public interest." Considering how much the U.S. loves their iPhones and iPads, it does not mean a ban could be enforced immediately despite siding with Motorola.

Related:

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Mobility, Security, Wi-Fi

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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