International Trade Commission Judge Theodore Essex decided in Washington today that Motorola Mobility did not violate three of Apple's Patents, as the Cupertino tech giant had claimed. Two of the patents related to touchscreen features, including multi touch, and a device's ability to recognize various types of manual input, like sliding and pinching gestures. The third, as Bloomberg explains, "is for a way to add components without having to run an installation program or rebooting."
This case comes as one of many in a long saga of attacks on Android for alleged patent infringement, part of an effort by Apple across four continents to prove that Android copies pieces of the iPhone's functionality. While the ruling comes as great news, this is only one of several legal battles Motorola Mobility has found itself in in the recent past.
The spin-off of Motorola Inc. is also embroiled in a case against Apple, with a trade commission judge expected to release his findings April 23. At the same time, Motorola Mobility is fighting with Microsoft over patent royalties, and is accusing Microsoft of infringing patents related to video game systems. Motorola was also determined to have infringed on one Microsoft patent last month, according to Essex (while it was cleared of six other alleged violations).
Overall, patent wars between tech companies show no signs of slowing down, but today's ruling (combined with HTC's mixed success in Taiwan last month) certainly points in the right direction for Motorola Mobility and other manufacturers in defending Android from attack.