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Motorola Loses ITC Case Against Apple for Proximity Sensor Patents 121

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bogus-patents-for-all dept.
New submitter Rideak writes with this excerpt from CNet about an ITC ruling against Motorola in their case against Apple for violating a few of their proximity sensor patents: "The U.S. International Trade Commission today ended Motorola's case against Apple, which accused the iPhone and Mac maker of patent infringement. In a ruling (PDF), the ITC said that Apple was not violating Motorola's U.S. patent covering proximity sensors, which the commission called 'obvious.' It was the last of six patents Motorola aimed at Apple as part of an October 2010 complaint."
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Motorola Loses ITC Case Against Apple for Proximity Sensor Patents

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  • by linatux (63153) on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:07PM (#43520901)

    but round corners can't?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well of course round corners aren't patentable. That's why Apple didn't try to patent them. You apparently need some education (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_patent).

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      but round corners can't?

      Look, if Apple used pointy corners on their stuff then we'd hurt our hands when we held it wrong.

    • by crutchy (1949900)

      apple should sue the person who invented the wheel

    • by Anonymous Coward

      WAIT a minute...

      This is a Large Corporation with a Patent.
      OMG ! The Patent was called 'obvious' ?!?! ...it's a Large Corporation ... Patent ...the Patent was called ... 'obvious' ?

      In What MAD UNIVERSE do I find myself?
      Such un-natural Eldrich Horror! Cthulhu save-us-all... AHHRGH....

        strange.. my AC CAPCHA is "witches"
       

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        They sued another very large corporation. Apple has lots of bad ass lawyers too unlike the little people these assholes usually beat up on.

    • but round corners can't?

      Bevelling is pretty advanced stuff for the Patent Office. Didn't really exist until, you know, about 2000 BC. Proximity sensors, on the other hand, has been around since we grew eyeballs. So I guess the takeaway here is, the Patent Office is in the stone age.

    • Design patents operate under different principles from regular patents, and something that a lot of folks here seem to be ignoring is that the claims made in design patents are considered in whole, rather than one at a time in a vacuum. Put differently, while Apple does have a few design patents that mention rounded corners in them, they're mentioned as one claim among many in those design patents. A competing product would be measured up against all of the claims, rather than just the rounded corner one, i

      • by Grieviant (1598761) * on Monday April 22, 2013 @10:19PM (#43521571)
        By asserting that the 'rounded corners' critique is invalidated simply by pointing to multiple claims in a design patent, you might be the one repeating an ignorant meme here. If NONE of the claimed attributes are unique on their own (rounded corners, beveling, device face comprised mostly of screen, small number of buttons, rectangular grid of icons, etc.) and various combinations of them have been widely used in other electronic devices over the past 50 years, how does one magically end up with a truly unique design? Piling up on dozens of commonplace look-and-feel features does not increase uniqueness. It seems more like an attempt to limit competition by monopolizing a basic design that the industry is already converging on.
        • by Wovel (964431)

          You are arguing against the nature of design patents While that may be a valid argument, all Apple can do is follow the laws that exist today. Not the laws as you wish them to be.

        • You make a good point, but that's simply not how design patents work. They don't work on the principle of uniqueness, but rather on that of distinctiveness. If some combination of elements is distinctive enough, a design patent can be issued. And when you go back and look at, say, the original iPhone design patents, that design was extremely distinctive at the time it was filed, even though very few, if any, of its traits were truly unique. In contrast, the more recent iPad mini design patent that was issue

        • By asserting that the 'rounded corners' critique is invalidated simply by pointing to multiple claims in a design patent, you might be the one repeating an ignorant meme here

          Except its not even remotely true these are the design patents https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=www.google.com/patents/USD627777.pdf [google.com] and https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/USD670286.pdf [google.com] for your information the dotted lines are just there to add context so ignore them.

          Link to an article for those who don't have firefox http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/08/apple_rectangle_rounded_corners/ [theregister.co.uk]

          Show me where it discusses the other generic things you randomly add. In fac

          • Yea, I actually gave Apple too much credit by implying that these attributes were rolled into a single design patent. They were all distinct but asserted simultaneously against Samsung during the trial as a combination of design and utility patents.

            Let me ask though, do you think that strengthens or weakens the validity of design patents? I mean, did you even look at the ornamental tablet design patent you're linking to above? Completely devoid of any specific or unique characteristics whatsoever ....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Motorola Loses ITC Case Against Against Apple for Proximity Sensor Patents

    Can you find it? I can.

  • Strategy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pirulo (621010) on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:17PM (#43520951)
    Without reading the whole article. I believe that with all the muscle that Google (Motorola) could put behind this claim, the case has more to do with strategy. It's a case to better loose and then later refer to. As the first poster said, -"Tech can be obvious but round corners can't?"
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A better strategy is to keep your patents tight, instead of loose.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by larry bagina (561269)
      That's a brilliant strategy -- spend 12 billion on a has-been phone manufacturer and then lose all the patent lawsuits you file.
    • by Mr_Silver (213637)

      As the first poster said, -"Tech can be obvious but round corners can't?"

      Worth noting that the practise of putting a proximity sensor in a touch screen phone to turn the screen off when you make a call was so obvious, not a single Windows Mobile phone launched by HTC, Samsung or Motorola in Europe prior to June 2007 had one.

    • Well, that's definitely a unique strategy - buy a washed up radio and phone manufacturer that most consumers won't buy a product from again, as practically everyone has been burned by a slip-shod Motorola product in the past, for a shload of money in order to gain a patent portfolio that can be used to strike back at your chief rival; and then proceed lose on every single count and have those patents invalidated as obvious after paying for 2.5 years of lawyer lawyer retainers and court costs.

      They'll never s

  • by sking (42926)

    Maybe things are changing.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      No. Not really. It's just that Apple is a little too big to be picking on with this stupid shit. Motorola should have used Microsoft's strategy of suing smaller companies first to build up to suing bigger ones. They jumped straight at Apple and got slapped down. You notice that Microsoft didn't jump straight at Google over Android but instead is attacking their manufacturing partners who are happy to pay protection money to get them to go away. If they had sued Google then Google would have whistled u

      • by Karlt1 (231423)

        Motorola should have used Microsoft's strategy of suing smaller companies first to build up to suing bigger ones

        So who was Google/Motorola going to sue? Other Android manufacturers?

      • Just to point out - Apple sued first & these claims were part of the counter suit.
  • Error! (Score:4, Funny)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:15PM (#43521287)

    Motorola Loses ITC Case Against Against Apple for Proximity Sensor Patents

    Error: Cyclic Redundancy Check failed while parsing headline.

  • While I am always happy to see obvious patent ruled as invalid, I wonder if it is the job of an administrative commission to do that job.
    • by frinkster (149158)

      While I am always happy to see obvious patent ruled as invalid, I wonder if it is the job of an administrative commission to do that job.

      It's only invalid in the sense that the ITC won't do anything about it.

      But the real issue is that an administrative commission is proving to be completely gutless when it comes to two American companies fighting each other. They have gone in circles for around 3 years now trying to figure out how to not do anything at all (while the lawyers on both sides have collected many millions of dollars in fees). The sole remedy available when you file an ITC case is a ban on importation and the ITC is simply unwil

  • I can understand the thought behind the ruling, but I have to say I'm really against against against against against against.

  • This is Max Headroom, live on Net-Net-Net-Network 23, because what I want to know is, who's gonna stop this kind of wholesale artic--killing-ing-ing-ing. Killing. It's time that Slashdot took a stand - a stand - a *stand* on this kind of headline murder. Murder. Murder. Preferably against it.

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