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.

Via Bloomberg

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • David Juliano

    HaHaHa. Screw apple. Everyone knows they are going to die a miserable death. Windows and android are going to kill them. Thank god Jobs is dead.

  • Real

    Thank god Jobs is dead? You must be filled with hate. Whatever comes out of these patent wars we all know the first "user friendly touch interface on a phone" was pioneered by Jobs. And for that I thank him... even if I use an android as I am a techie. I do know Apple is a better choice for those who do not like to fiddle with their phones and just like an easy to use, polished product... which is the majority of the population.

    • Micah

      "first user friendly touch interface on a phone," Um, actually that wasn't pioneered by Jobs, do a little research please. Apple (or jobs) do make great devices, but they're often improvements to devices, or more built on a whole ecosystem approach. It's like saying the inventor of the electric car was the pioneer of cars. I'm not saying I'm happy that someone died. But as azrienoch over at xda-developers loosely put, his hypocrisies and bullshit won't be missed.
      I never got the sense of user friendly as a debating argument. I'm not use to the iphone and when handed one, I fumble through options, but I know how to make a call and text, when I hand my android phone to an iphone user, they know how to do the same things, but also fumble through options. It's a lot more what you are used to doing, rather than which is "intuitive."

      • Real

        I am not aware there was a phone that had the ease of use of the iphone before it came out. Can you name one?

        As a testament of user friendliness, my 1.7 year old son can easily use an iphone and an ipad but has some trouble with my android phone. The controls are simply not that intuitive. He gets lost sometimes and gets frustrated.

        • Renil

          As much as i love Android, that is true. I have seen it myself. Kids grasp iOS far too easily compared to Android.

        • Zomby

          Of course the lack of capability of the iPhone results, in turn, to an ease of use. It's like saying that's it's much easier to find one's way in a 1-room studio that in a 2-story house. A 2 year old will havew less trouble using a device where the only user interface is the app drawer, but then again cell phones and tablets are designed for people slightly older than that. At least now we know Apple's target demographic.

        • Kryptus

          Which means that iPhone is for lazy brained peoples (to be polite) :)

    • Al McDowall

      +1 to almost everything Real said (with the exception being "easy to use, polished product". The way this phrase is used implies that Android is neither polished nor easy to use and I disagree, even though iOS may well be easier)

      I work in tech, I use Windows and Android and will almost certainly never use Apple. This is because I like having control over what my machines do, among other reasons.

      However, I know there are a lot of people who do not want to 'get their hands dirty' and simply want devices they can use to do a job, without having to learn how best to use the device. Apple really do make great products in this light (actually, in any light) and for those people, Apple is an ideal choice.

      In fact to be honest, I think the only real turn off with Apple (apart from the patent nonsense) is the attitude that some Apple users adopt, somehow brainwashed into thinking their product of choice is better than the alternatives.

      I guess it's a case of a few bad apples (sorry, had to put that one in!)

      • Real

        Yes, android is coming around but it is not quite there yet. And a year ago it was buggy. My phone still has this battery draining problem but that I have to restart it everytime the "suspend" goes haywire... and its running Gingerbread.

    • MicroNix

      So if Samsung copies Apple to the point that Apple has to put their product side by side with a Samsung product to show the similarities, does this not make Samsung Android phones just as "polished" and "easy to use" as the iPhone? I'm getting tired of that argument of the iPhone being easier. If anyone spends 10 minutes with an Android phone, they can easily understand what is going on. Same learning curve for someone picking up an iPhone for the first time. But for Android, rather than being limited to pushing icons on a screen, someone can add a widget or live wallpaper to give them information without opening an app. If that is called complicated (being offered *additional options*) then I'll take complicated any day of the week.

    • stalemate

      "... which is the majority of the population." - Real

      Actually, the majority of the population, even in the USA*, chooses Android over iOS: http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1848514


      • Real

        Take note I said "like" not "buy". Apple sells a premium product and the majority of people are simply not willing to pay the $ for the iphone no matter how much they like it. I admit I am speculating but from my observation, the majority of the population, especially women, prefer not to have to.. as Al Mcdowal put it "get their hands dirty". We are a minority. I SPECULATE that if Apple sold its iphones cheap 1 to 2 years ago they would have had the market.

    • http://www.liamspradlin.com Liam Spradlin

      "we all know the first "user friendly touch interface on a phone" was pioneered by Jobs."

      Ummmm what?

    • Sergio

      what are you talking about. PALM and Symbian were WAY before the Iphone on touch interfaces.
      (when first the iphone entered the phone arena i thought WHOOAAAA it has nothing more than my Sonyericcsson p900 or my palm .... (and the p900 was user friendly)
      obviusly i has better hardware. but. to be the first one ? they just added magic and revolutionary to say they were innovating.
      o well maybe the first phone on a capacitive screen . i can give them that until my research proves me wrong.

      proved Wrong

      LG Prada!!!
      from wikipedia page
      LG Electronics has claimed the iPhone's design was copied from the LG Prada. Woo-Young Kwak, head of LG Mobile Handset R&D Center, said at a press conference, “We consider that Apple copied the Prada phone after the design was unveiled when it was presented in the iF Design Award and won the prize in September 2006.”[8]

      LG later claimed that Apple stole both the ideas and concept of the Prada phone. A lawsuit by LG had been rumored prior to this announcement; [8] however, LG has remained silent on whether or not they will file a lawsuit.

  • jan

    " part of an effort by Apple across four continents to prove that Android copies pieces of the iPhone’s functionality."


    • Mike


      I'm quite surprised that Google has not yet come after Apple for this shameless kang. Everything in iOS5 (from the pulldown bar, to OTA updates, to cloud services, to voice dictation) can be found in some other OS from years earlier. Even Siri has existed in other forms on websites and other computer software for some time now. And yet they have the mammoth balls here to attack everyone else?? It's clear Apple is officially out of ideas. And as such, in an effort to hold their position, they have become litigators, not innovators.

      For example, I'm constantly perplexed that Apple can attempt to laughably sue Samsung for the fact that Samsung placed their product in the top of the box when the consumer opened it. Really Apple, is that the pathetic arguments you're reduced to in order to stop a product you felt at the time might turn out to be superior? And yet we have Steve Jobs famously saying in 1994 "I have always been shameless about stealing good ideas". Biggest. Hypocrite. EVAH

      • DCMAKER

        wow...simply wow....could not have said it any better

      • Renil

        Amazing comment! :)

  • me

    Apple copies others as others copy apple. Patents have gotten out of hand and now everyone is copying someone. Apple is good for those who like it and android is good for those who like that. Just as blackberries and windows phone. Some people like symbian better.
    People ask me all the time which is better, apple or android and all i can tell them is that it is just your decision. They are similar but neither can be considered better.

    • GraveUypo

      i think both can be considered better.

  • MicroNix

    Definitely makes my day to see Apple getting the shaft. You just don't mess with Motorola. They practically invented the cell phone. In that respect, Apple is a newbie. Though Apple should be commended for popularizing the dropped call ;)

  • P.p

    Apple is the most hypocritical, greedy, and shameless corporation in the technological market.

    Apple is reaping what it didn't sow. Companies like Xerox, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Samsung and LG, Motorola, hell, even Nokia with the former success of Symbian are the ones who bring new technologies. Apple only knows how to wrap it up in a fancy, attractive package, and market it well, and then sue the crap out of every single body that contributed to their success.

    On a diffrent note, I can't believe I'm writing this on a Macbook pro, I will never buy an Apple product again. I really thought iFans might be right about Macs, and decided to try it, see what's all the fuss about. Little did I know that this Mac will crash, freeze, overheat, and in general annoy me, just like my old, beaten up HP, if not more.

    Screw Apple.

    • GraveUypo

      yeah thing is apple learned from it's mistakes. back in the 1990's apple got royally screwed for NOT protecting it's patents. they're not about to make THAT mistake again.

    • Zomby

      But... but... but... the Mac vs PC commercial said that only PCs would crash!!! Surely Apple couldn't have been lying?

  • Kryptus

    My 1.3 years old nephew can turn on and unlock my Android phone without any problem :) Then he get stuck with the lock pattern but I doubt he would do better entering a pin-code...

    • Sergio

      hahahaha LMFAO with this comment !