On Tuesday, Administrative law Judge Thomas Pender ruled in an entry on the U.S. International Trade Commission docket that a key Motorola patent was invalid. Following the ruling, right now, Google’s Motorola Mobility unit loses the battle to assert its patent on a sensor that prevents smartphone users from dialing wrong numbers on touchscreen devices.
Apple has not yet made any comment on the ruling, though from the other side, a Motorola spokeswoman, Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson has expressed disappointment “with this outcome and are evaluating our options.”
The battle for dominating the smartphone market has pitted technology giants against each other in courts across the world fighting on patent rights. Apple has been going after smarphone makers using Google’s Android system. Google’s Motorola Mobility unit, which Google formed after buying Motorola for $12.5 billion earlier this year, has been a key player in the smartphone wars.
Apple has been quiet of late after the US Patent Office declared a preliminary finding following reexamination that Apple’s Steve Jobs patent was invalid, and soon after, Apple lost the battle on three patents against MobileMedia.
Judge Pender’s ruling is also not final, as now the ITC will now review the ruling. In August, the commission had cleared Apple of the charges of having infringed three other Motorola patents.
Whoever wins the smartphone wars ultimately, the users would have to bear the distributed costs of legal battles at the end in the form of prices of goods and services.