Bloomberg News

Apple’s Patent Dispute With Motorola Mobility Narrowed by Judge

January 23, 2012

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The number of patents in litigation between Apple Inc. and a Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. unit was narrowed by a judge who invalidated two of them, said Apple didn’t infringe a third and found that issues with five others required a trial.

U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, hearing by special designation a lower-court case in Chicago, struck down an Apple- patented method for drawing graphics on a computer display screen, concluding its terms were too vague.

Posner ruled against Motorola on a means for authenticating and protecting telecommunications subscribers, concluding it had been anticipated by earlier patents. Posner also decided in the order dated Jan. 16 that Apple didn’t infringe a Motorola patent for encrypting telecommunications data.

Apple, maker of the iPhone, has been waging a global fight with the former Motorola Inc. unit that sells phones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system. A U.S. International Trade Commission judge on Jan. 13 made an initial determination that cleared Motorola of violating Apple’s rights on three patents.

Posner has scheduled a jury trial on liability in the case before him on June 11. He has told lawyers for both sides to tell him which claims they want tried by Jan. 23.

Motorola Mobility, which was spun off from Motorola Inc. -- now Motorola Solutions Inc. -- last year, has agreed to be acquired by Google for $12.5 billion.

Jennifer Erickson, a spokeswoman for Libertyville, Illinois-based Motorola Mobility, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail after regular business hours yesterday seeking comment on the decision. A call to Cupertino, California-based Apple’s press office also wasn’t immediately returned yesterday.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Motorola Inc., 11-cv-08540, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

--Editors: Michael Hytha, Joe Schneider

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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