Apple May Face US Ban On Products Over 3G Patent

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The US-based court battle between Motorola and Apple may have been dismissed. However, Apple’s problems are far from over.

As far as the International Trade Center (ITC) is concerned, Apple is still facing a possible product import ban.

A new report that came out this Monday, on 25 June 2012, claimed that the ITC was reviewing a previous ruling that accused Apple of violating one of Motorola’s patents. And the outcome, could be devastating.

Bloomberg reported:

“The U.S. International Trade Commission said it will review ITC Judge Thomas Pender’s findings that Apple was violating one of four Motorola Mobility patents. The commission is scheduled to issue a final decision on Aug. 24, and has the power to block devices made in Asia from entering the U.S.”

The patent in question covers crucial 3G technology, which is used in both iPhones and iPads. Apple argued that the technology was standards-essential, and should be licensed at a fair and reasonable price under the act called Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND). But thus far, Apple has yet to do so convincingly.

If the ITC rules that Apple is indeed infringing upon the patent, it has the right to block the import of Apple’s devices into the US until the related technology is removed. If this technology is removed from iDevices, it would prove far more difficult than HTC’s hyperlink workaround.

Apple is doing its best to ensure that does not happen. It is being said that Apple is rounding up support from the likes of Microsoft, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and other companies to testify that Motorola’s 3G patent should fall under FRAND, and therefore not be punishable by import ban.

What makes this story all the more interesting is the fact that Google’s acquisition of Motorola has been finalized for months now. So one can assume that the Mountain View company is essentially pulling the strings on this one.

Is there going to be a battle where Google and Apple face each other directly? Only time will tell.

Source: iDownload Blog

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