Could Apple be getting its just deserts with a US-wide ban on the iPad and iPhone? Maybe there is such a thing as karma after all, and this may well be what Apple is thinking right now as it waits to hear what the ITC will say after an April ruling on a patent infringement suit brought against it by Motorola.
iPad & iPhone ban in US possible in August
This review is the latest in the saga that could end with the iPhone and iPad being banned in the US. Remember, it was Apple that was believed to be behind an ITC exclusion order that prevented a couple of Android phones from entering the US. They weren’t Motorola Mobility phones, but they were two high-end Android phones, and Motorola Mobility is now a wholly-owned Google subsidiary.
Apple is in this mess because in April, Judge Thomas Pender ruled that it had infringed one of four Motorola Mobility patents that the court was looking at. The patent in question was given to Motorola Mobility in 2001; No. 6,246,697 for a "Method and system for generating a complex pseudonoise sequence for processing a code division multiple access signal" and it deals with the wireless chips for Wi-Fi systems.
The review is in response to petitions from both Apple and Motorola Mobility, over claim construction, infringement and validity. Apple is trying to use FRAND policies to say that the patent shouldn’t be enforced. Apple has had support from other companies over this FRAND issue and companies like Hewlett Packard, Nokia, Verizon and Microsoft have written to the ITC in defence of Apple’s position.
In April 2010, Motorola Mobility sued Apple over several patents related to wireless communications. Apple countersued with the ITC, which cleared Motorola Mobility in March 2011.
Although Judge Pender dismissed Motorola’s claims on three patents, the ITC is reviewing all four, including No. 6,246,697. Both companies will have to answer questions from the six-strong commission in July, and the final decision is due in August.