Apple Wins Sensor Patent Lawsuit Case Brought Up by Google’s Motorola Mobility

Apple has won a patent infringement case between Google’s Motorola Mobility, which alleged the iPhone’s proximity sensor had infringed on the latter’s patent, reports Bloomberg:

The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington upheld a judge’s findings that the Motorola Mobility patent is invalid, though for different reasons. The patent covers a sensor that prevents the phone from accidentally hanging up or activating an application when close to a person’s face.

The back and forth court battle over patents has been ongoing but this latest win by Apple marks the last of a case where Motorola accused the latter of infringing on its 3G technology, which was cleared last fall.

Motorola Mobility argued when the patent for the sensor tech was filed in 1999, it would not have been obvious to engineers then due to lack of touch screen smartphones. Motorola quoted the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs as saying the inclusion of a proximity sensor in the iPhone was a “breakthrough”.

Apple responded to say the sensor in question was the same technology that had already been around for years, and said the paraphrased Jobs quote used by Motorola (taken from the official Jobs biography) was unrelated to the patent in question.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in August of 2011 for its treasure trove of mobile patents, which CEO Larry Page said at the time was to “protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”