On Monday, The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) ruled that Apple did not violate a Google patent to make the popular iPhones which came as a huge relief to the Cupertino-based technology giant, already grappling with falling share price.
The suit for the patent called ‘sensor controlled user interface for a portable communication device’ was first filed in 2010, before Google moved to acquire Motorola Mobility and its patent portfolio in August 2011.
In its filing, Google alleged that Apple infringed smartphone sensor patent by including a proximity sensor, which prevents the touchscreen being accidentally pressed by turning it off when it is held up to the ear, reported the Financial Times.
Apple was initially accused of infringing on six patents for iPhone-related technology. The USITC cleared Apple of infringing three other Motorola patents in August 2012, while Google withdrew a second complaint against Apple in October 2012.
In its statement, he commission said that Apple had shown “clear and convincing evidence” that Motorola’s claim was “obvious” and so unenforceable.
Had Apple been found in violation, the ITC could have imposed an import ban against Apple’s flagship device, iPhone in the United States.
Google on its part said “We’re disappointed with this outcome and are evaluating our options.” in a statement given shortly after the ruling.
This comes as a major setback for the search engine giant, as it raises questions on its decision of buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn in 2012, which was intended to bolster its patent fight in the dynamic smartphone market.
It remains to be seen if Google will appeal the decision to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.