Google lost a legal battle against Apple Inc. when the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that the company didn’t violate a Google-owned patent to make iPhones.
The tech giants have been fighting over six patents for iPhone-related technology that covers a series of domains, such as signal noise reduction and programming of the touch screen, Reuters reports.
If the case had gone the other way, Apple’s devices could have been banned from being imported into the United States. Since the bulk of the company’s market is there, such a decision could put a dent in Apple’s financial results as well as the stock prices.
The decision can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, so the entire suit might not be over yet.
Google acquired the patents that make the subject of the case when it purchased Motorola Mobility, in 2012, partly for the telecommunication patents it owned.
Once the deal was finalized, Google also inherited the legal case that started back in 2010.
Motorola accused Apple of infringing six patents. Out of these, two were terminated, and in August 2012 the ITC concluded that Apple was innocent of infringing three others. The other technologies remained to be assessed at a later date.
The patent wars that are going on between tech companies have long since become a common matter and more suits are often being filed. The smartphone industry alone has seen dozens of lawsuits on several continents.
The Apple – Samsung quarrel kept many on the edge of their seat as they tried to ban each other’s products from various countries.
However, when you talk about such patents, it is hard to draw a straight line between similar technologies.