An International Trade Commission (ITC) Judge has ruled that Apple's iPhone does not infringe on a Motorola Mobility patent.
Judge Thomas Pender found that the patent in question, number 6246862, is invalid because of prior art found in an older patent. Motorola's patent covers technology used to prevent accidental touchscreen input. The case still has to go in front of an ITC commission for final review.
According to Judge Pender, Motorola's patent is invalid due to prior art found in patent number 6052464. The judge ruled that the prior art showed that the patent at the heart of the case was an obvious evolution of existing technology.
Patent number 624682 covers technology which prevents accidental touchscreen input through the use of a close-proximity sensor. The patent was originally assigned to Motorola in 1989.
Judge Pender originally ruled that Apple was not guilty of infringement in the case because Motorola's use of the term "close-proximity sensor" was too broad for an infringement determination.
Following that ruling, an ITC commission asked Pender to re-review the case on behalf of Motorola. The commission will now review Judge Pender's latest ruling for a final determination.
This isn't the only case between Apple and Motorola to receive a ruling recently. A Wisconsin judge dismissed a case between Apple and Motorola in November.
Judge Barbara Crabb dismissed the case under the belief that Apple would not have followed the courts guidance if a pro-Motorola verdict was given.
Both Apple and Motorola were unavailable for comment at the time of this posting.