Today the Commission, the six-member decision-making body at the top of the ITC, concluded its review of an initial determination according to which Apple was deemed to infringe a standard-essential wireless patent held by Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility (but was cleared of infringement of some other patents).
Apple was cleared with respect to three of Motorola's patents-in-suit, including the aforementioned standard-essential one. But with respect to U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862 on a "sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device", a non-standard-essential patent, the investigation was remanded to Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender. The judge had found claim 1 of that patent indefinite and, as a result, not violated. The ITC has reversed his indefiniteness finding. As a result, there could (but need not) be a finding of a violation with respect to this patent, and an import ban.
An initial determination made by a judge on remand is again subject to a Commission review. All in all, a remand can easily take a year.
Since the remaining patent-in-suit is not standard-essential, the ITC does not have to take a position in connection with this investigation on the issue of import bans over standard-essential patents.
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