Apple and Google have been involved in furious patent wars for quite a long time. As two of the most reputed companies and competitors, they were using Intellectual Property Rights (especially patent rights) as a weapon to gain dominance in the market. We had reported a similar case in this article where Rockstar Bidco, a consortium owned by Apple and a few other tech-giants including Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony launched an all out attack on Google targeting its Android operating system. The companies involved in the patent battle rows were adopting patent trolling strategy, involving identifying companies (preferably small entities) which possess patents over technologies that could be used to sue their competitors, and acquiring them at a price. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility in the year 2010 is considered to be part of this strategy. With its latest move, Google acquired smart thermostat maker “Nest” for US$ 3.2 billion.
Followed by the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google sued Apple alleging that some technologies (which include functions such as reducing signal noise and stopping device’s touch screen from being activated while talking on a phone) used in making Apple’s prestigious “iPhone” Smartphone series infringes on six patents owned by Motorola Mobility, a Google company. However, an appeals court (USA) ruled that Apple has not violated any patent rights owned by Motorola Mobility in making the iPhone. The case was initially filed in 2010 before the US International Trade Commission (ITC), which, in April 2013, ruled in Apple’s favour that Apple was not infringing on Motorola’s patent rights. Google appealed ITC’s decision and took the case to the Appeals court. Bad luck awaited Google here too, as the Appeals court ruled in favour of Apple.
In a statement given to Reuters, Google was quoted as saying that they were very disappointed with this decision of the Appeals court and that they were evaluating possible options. However, Apple has not commented on this decision yet. The decision seems to bear an indication that 2014 will also turn out to be a good year for Apple. They have already won several law suits against South Korean tech-giant Samsung. Sources indicate that Apple has been awarded as much as US$ 930 million so far, over its patent battle with Samsung, which has been going on for a considerable amount of time. We will keep you posted on further developments.
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