In a shocking turn of events, the US Federal Trade Commission has ruled that Motorola Mobility cannot ask a court to halt sales of Apple iPhone and iPad, citing infringment of a patent essential to wireless technology. According to latest reports, when Judge Richard Posner dismissed the cases filed by Google-owned Motorola Mobility and Apple in Chicago back in /june, both the companies had appealed.
Interestingly, Posner barred Motorola Mobility from appealing to stop iPhone sales, since it involved a standard essential patent. Reportedly, the now the Google-owned company had offered the patent on FRAND terms to other companies to have their technology adopted as a wireless industry standard. “Standard essential patents, or SEPs, are treated differently because they are critical to ensuring that devices made by different companies work together,” the report notes.
Motorola cannot seek iPhone, iPad ban
The FTC affirmed in its court ruling that Posner had ruled correctly in its response to Google's appeal. In fact, the FTC is known for its stance against courts banning products because they infringe essential patents, and this was evident again in its most recent ruling.
“Patent hold-up risks harming competition, innovation, and consumers because it allows a patentee to be rewarded not based on the competitive value of its technology, but based on the infringer's costs to switch to a non-infringing alternative when an injunction is issued,” the FTC noted.
Earlier this year, a judge for ITC had ruled that Apple had infringed on a Motorola Mobility patent in making its popular iPhones, iPads and other products. In a preliminary ruling, ITC Judge Thomas Pender said that Apple infringed on a patent for eliminating noise and other interference during voice and data transmissions.
Motorola Mobility has been one of the other smartphone makers that Apple has locked horns with. Its longstanding battle with Samsung is no secret either. A Dutch court recently ruled that the South Korean giant's Galaxy smartphones and tablets infringe an Apple patent. Samsung has been ordered to pay damages to Apple – the amount will be decided after assessing the profit the company amassed from the sales.
The Dutch court went on to add that the patent battle pertains to the Android OS versions 2.2.1 and 3.0 used on the company's Galaxy line of tablets and smartphones. The Dutch court judgment is the latest to come in the long standing patent battle between the two technology giants.
Apple sought the inclusion of the Samsung Galaxy Note II to the list of devices too, which allegedly infringes on Apple's patents, the Sydney Morning Herald reported recently. This development marks the continuation of the attempts of the warring companies to get sales bans implemented on each other’s products. As per the filings at the San Jose federal court in California, not only does Apple want Samsung’s Jelly Bean-running devices included in the list, but also those running the Ice Cream Sandwich version.