Apple’s Win Over Motorola at ITC Upheld in Federal Circuit Decision
By Tony Dutra
Jan. 14 –Apple Inc.’s noninfringement of Motorola Mobility LLC’s patent on mobile phone application push technology was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Jan. 10 in a nonprecedential opinion (Motorola Mobility LLC v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, Fed. Cir., No. 2012-1666, 1/10/14).
Motorola owns a patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,272,333) relating to controlling delivery of data to a mobile phone in typical “push” applications, where updated information is sent without requiring an end user request. The dispute with Apple in the instant case before the International Trade Commission, No. 337-TA-745, was in how updates on the accessibility of the mobile phone–referred to as a “subscriber unit”–for receipt of push information is communicated.
The ITC ruled that Apple’s accused devices did not infringe claim 12 of the ’333 patent and that Motorola had not established the technical prong of the Section 337 domestic industry requirement, 19 U.S.C. §1337(a)(2), by relying on its Droid 2 product.
The Federal Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Jimmie V. Reyna, affirmed the noninfringement decision in a fact-specific analysis of the claim scope and Apple’s specific implementation of accessibility updates.
“Motorola’s infringement theory necessarily relies on two changes in accessibility that occur on the accused devices–one change associated with deletion of a push-enabled application and a different change in accessibility regarding cancellation of push notifications,” the court said. “This theory is not consistent with the claim’s limitations.”
As to the technical prong, the court concluded that the Droid 2 has the same relevant features as the accused Apple devices, and if the Apple devices do not infringe claim 12, then the Droid 2 cannot be said to practice claim 12.
Judges Sharon Prost and William C. Bryson joined the opinion.
Edward J. DeFranco of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, New York, represented Motorola. Mark S. Davies of Orrick, Herrington& Sutcliffe LLP, Washington, D.C., represented Apple. Megan M. Valentine of the ITC’s Office of the General Counsel represented the commission.
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