A U.S. judge has found Apple guilty of violating at least one of Motorola’s patents pertaining to Wi-Fi technology. If approved by a six-person International Trade Commission committee, this could lead to a temporary ban on imports of the iPhone and iPad into the United States.
This is the first big victory for Motorola, which is now wholly owned by Google, in what appears to be a never-ending stream of litigation back and forth between Apple and a number of Android vendors. Apple is currently suing Motorola and Samsung for a number of patent infringements, while Motorola has sued Apple for the same. This particular case was filed back in October 2010 and could continue into next year as Apple appeals the decision.
The judge’s findings will be reviewed in the coming months, so nothing is likely to happen in the short term. But down the road, with multiple vendors suing one another, a settlement is bound to be the logical step. If not, these litigations could carry on indefinitely, costing companies billions of dollars, and slowing innovation in a sector that desperately needs more of it.