Apple's patent claims against Google reopened

A US federal appeals court allowed Apple to reopen a patent case against Google.

Dado Ruvic/ Reuters/ File
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Apple logo posing with an iPhone 4. An Apple patent case against Google was recently reopened.

A US appeals court ruled on Wednesday that Apple should be able to renew its arguments at the International Trade Commission that Google's Motorola Mobility unit violated two patents relating to the iPhone.

The Federal US Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC found that the International Trade Commission erred when it invalidated one Apple patent and found that Motorola didn't infringe another. The court returned the case to the ITC for further analysis of those issues, under different legal standards.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. In a statement, Google's Motorola unit said the decision paves the way for the ITC to find that Apple's remaining claims are invalid.

"Meanwhile, we'll stay focused on delivering great new phones that people love," the company said.

Apple has been conducting a global litigation campaign against phone manufacturers that use the Android operating system, developed by Google.

The iPhone maker had filed a complaint against Motorola in the ITC in October 2010, which included patents relating to touch screen technology. Subsequent to the beginning of litigation, Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

Companies often bring patent claims at the ITC, where proceedings move much faster than in the federal courts, and because the ITC can exclude products from the lucrative US market.

The case in the Federal Circuit is Apple Inc. vs. International Trade Commission and Motorola Mobility Inc., 2012-1338.

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