ITC says it will revisit ruling in Apple vs. Motorola case

The U.S. International Trade Commission says it will reconsider an initial judgment in which it said Apple infringed on one of Motorola's patents.

The U.S. International Trade Commission today said that it will revisit an earlier ruling it made in a case between Google-owned Motorola Mobility and Apple over allegations of patent infringement.

In April, ITC administrative law judge Thomas Pender issued an initial determination in the case, which Motorola filed in 2010, saying Apple was violating one of four Motorola Mobility patents covering 3G wireless technology.

As relayed by Reuters, the ITC now says (pdf) it will revisit that decision.

"Having examined the record of this investigation, including the ALJ's final ID (Initial Determination), the petitions for review, and the responses thereto, the Commission has determined to review the final ID in part," the ITC said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Google declined to comment. CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

Relations between the two companies have tensed in recent years, with the two competing with one another in smartphones and tablets. Most recently that's boiled down to software, with Apple planning to part ways with Google's mapping technology with iOS 6, which will be released in the fall. However hardware has become a new part of the equation, with Google buying up Motorola Mobility last year -- a deal that closed last month . Google is expected to debut the first step in that effort at its annual I/O developer confab later this week, with a more direct competitor to Apple's iPad

The case is separate from a patent spat between the two companies, which was tossed out of an Illinois district court last week.

Technology companies in recent years have increasingly turned to the ITC to settle their disputes. Companies can pursue an ITC case in parallel with civil lawsuits, and the threat of an embargo on products often forces companies to settle more quickly.

 

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