Bloomberg reports that Apple (AAPL) scored a small win on Monday when the US International Trade Commission [ITC] invalidated a proximity sensors patent owned by Google (GOOG)’s Motorola Mobility unit that threatened the import of some iPhone models into the US.
“The decision marks the latest instance in which neither Cupertino, California-based Apple nor Google has been able to strike a decisive blow against its competitor in a squabble that began more than two years ago,” Bloomberg’s Susan Decker wrote in her report. “Each has claimed the other is infringing patents, and Apple accused Motorola Mobility of breaching obligations to license some of its most widely used technology on fair terms.”
Motorola originally filed the complaint in October 2010, claiming Apple infringed on patented technology that keeps your smartphone from accidentally opening an app when near your body or hanging up when it touches your cheek during a call. A judge had found Apple in violation of one of Motorola’s patents in an initial ruling, but the Commission overruled the finding, saying [PDF] that the technology at issue in the patents wasn’t original enough to support the accusation.
The ITC indicated the investigation into the Motorola complaint filed in late 2010 was “terminated with finding of no violation.”
“We’re disappointed with this outcome and are evaluating our options,” Google said in a statement. The search giant will likely appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.