In a decision which reduces the chances of an import ban being imposed on the Apple iPhone, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) said that Apple did not violate two industry-standard `wireless technology' patents owned by Google's newly-acquired Motorola Mobility division.
With the ITC's ruling in Apple's scuffle with Motorola Mobility over patents pertaining to 3G wireless technology being a mixed one, the commission said that Apple had not infringed on Motorola patents, including the one - 697 patent' - which Administrative Law Judge (AJL) Thomas Pender had found the iPhone-maker to have violated.
However, the trade agency also sent back one patent to Pender for re-consideration, after the judge had initially ruled that the patent had not been violated by Apple. According to the ITC, Apple neither directly violated the patent nor did it provoke others to infringe it as claimed.
As such, the ITC ruling now leaves only one patent on table in the Apple-Motorola dispute --- the so-called `862 patent' which relates to a sensor that is used for determining the closeness of a mobile communications device to the head of the user.
Asking Pender to re-examine the issues in connection with the `862 patent,' the ITC said in its ruling: "The Commission remands the investigation to the ALJ to consider the issues of infringement, validity, and the domestic industry requirement for the `862 patent'."