Appeals Court Reinstates Dismissed Apple Multitouch Patent Case Against Motorola


Florian Müller of Foss Patents reports that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has overturned the ITC’s ruling to dismiss the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Apple against Motorola over multitouch patents.

The ITC decision has been reversed in part and vacated in part, and remanded to the U.S. trade agency for further proceedings with respect to two Apple multi-touch patents that have been asserted and could be reasserted anytime against Samsung:

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,663,607 on a “multipoint touchscreen”, and
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,812,828 on an “ellipse fitting for multi-touch surfaces”.

Today’s remand decision gives Apple another opportunity to win a U.S. import ban against the Google subsidiary’s Android-based devices, which would have the Android ecosystem at large concerned.

Back in March, the ITC dismissed Apple’s original patent infringement case involving three patents, but as a result of today’s decision, the US trade agency will be forced to hear Apple’s claims.

This is the second time within a week that Apple has struck lucky with the ITC. Today’s ruling comes after the Obama administration vetoed the ITC import ban against older iPhone and iPad models, which were involved in another patent infringement case, this time against Samsung.

The ruling was a split decision, but one judge stressed the importance of Apple’s multitouch work, saying, “it marks true innovation.”

“The asserted patent in this case is an invention that has propelled not just technology, but also dramatically altered how humans across the globe interact and communicate,” Federal Circuit Judge Jimmie Reyna said in a separate opinion from the majority (via AllthingsD). “It marks true innovation.”

As expected, Motorola wasn’t satisfied with the ruling, but they chose to look on the bright side of life:

 “Today’s decision paves the way for the ITC to find that Apple’s remaining claims are invalid and that our products don’t infringe,” a Motorola representative said in a statement. “Meanwhile, we’ll stay focused on delivering great new phones that people love.”

P.S. - Like our news? Support the site: become a Patreon subscriber. Or shop with our Amazon link, or buy us a coffee! We use affiliate links when possible--thanks for supporting independent media.