Apple wins appeal on dismissed ITC case against Motorola

Motorola logo (medium)

Good news for the Cupertino legal team this week. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has finally handed down its opinion on the company’s appeal of the ITC’s dismissal of its patent complaint against Motorola Mobility, and it’s sided with Apple .

The ruling overturns a decision by the US International Trade Commission from March of last year, when the six-member panel exonerated Motorola from claims of infringement on certain Apple patents, thus allowing the company to pursue its complaint…

FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller reports:

“The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit just handed down its opinion on Apple’s appeal of the ITC’s March 2012 dismissal of its three-patent complaint against now-Google-owned Motorola Mobility. The ITC decision has been reversed in part and vacated in part, and remanded to the U.S. trade agency for further proceedings with respect to two Apple multi-touch patents that have been asserted and could be reasserted anytime against Samsung.”

And those two patents are:

So what does all of this mean? Well, the biggest thing is that it essentially gives Apple another shot at winning a US import ban against Motorola’s Android-based devices, which, as Mueller points out, would be cause for concern for the Android ecosystem at large.

But on a grander scale, the move could re-ignite the Stateside patent battle between Apple and Motorola, which has quieted down in recent months. Actually, the war would be between Apple and Google, since it now owns Motorola, which makes it all the more interesting.

Mueller believes a win for Apple in this ITC case could be strategically more important than its $1 billion victory against Samsung last year. “Injunctions are more important than damages,” he says, and these patents are more fundamental than the ones used in that case.

Stay tuned.