The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled against Apple in its patent suit against rival mobile vendor Motorola.
The ITC said in its preliminary decision that the Android vendor was not in violation of Apple patents on mobile hardware and software.
Filed in 2010, the suit alleged that Motorola was infringing on three Apple patents with its handsets. The company had requested that the court block the import of the devices in question.
"It is held that no violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. § 1337, has occurred in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain mobile devices and related software by reason of infringement," the ITC said in its ruling.
The decision marks another early victory for Motorola in its ongoing legal fight with Apple over patent claims surrounding the Android and iOS platforms. The company also won a decision in Germany against Apple.
Patent law expert Florian Mueller noted that Motorola was able to gain an early advantage in the case by being the first to file a number of documents with the court.
"At that time, it was clear that the two companies were heading for a clash, but Motorola's internal and external lawyers were better prepared or worked faster (or both)," Mueller said in a post to his FOSS Patents blog.
"It is possible that Apple was then scrambling to put together its own ITC complaint. Maybe Apple thought it had more time to bring an action and, with more time, it might have asserted more patents."
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