From DailyTech: With its crushing court defeat of Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), Apple Inc. (AAPL) won a key battle in its fight against Google Inc. (GOOG), but the war remains far from over.
Previously, Google (via its subsidiary Motorola Mobility) and Apple had fought each other to a standstill with Judge Richard A. Posner, a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge moonlighting in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). Posner twice dismissed the pair's suits/countersuits with prejudice arguing that both side effectively just wanted to ban the other's products and wasn't looking for legitimate damages.
That stalemate left Google with limited options. However, it is now pursuing its biggest and best opportunity to hurt Apple -- a U.S. International Trade Commission complaint. With the complaint Google is looking to hit Apple hard, banning nearly every single one of its products, including all its best-selling devices.
The ITC independent investigates patent dispute claims. And as most mobile device makers -- including Apple -- manufacture their products exclusively in China, its panel of judges essentially have as much power as a federal judge and jury, as they can order a blockade on imports -- an effective sales ban -- if they feel infringement occurred. That's precisely the route Apple used to temporarily stifle the sales of Android phonemaker HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) in May.
For its new complaint Google-Motorola was careful not to use one of its 3G or 4G patents, which may be illegal to sue Apple with, given that they were developed for industry standards. Instead, Google-Motorola is using U.S. Patent No. 6,983,370, a broad patent that describes cross-platform messaging to a "plurality of messaging clients". The patent was filed in 2001 and granted to Motorola in 2006 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
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