Apple Dodges Google Bullet

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may still be fighting each other for smartphone market share, but another round of their courtroom battle has come to a close; the U.S. International Trade Commission determined on Tuesday that Apple did not infringe on Motorola Mobility’s patent for a technology that prevents accidental hang-ups.

What was Judge Thomas Pender’s reasoning behind the ruling?

According to a notice posted on the ITC’s docket, Pender found that Apple did not violate trade regulations when it incorporated Motorola’s technology into its iPhone devices because the patent was invalid. However, his ruling is subject to review by the full commission, which has the ability to block imports of products that infringe U.S. patents.

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Pender’s full decision will only become public after both parties redact confidential information.

The commission ordered the judge to consider a possible violation after Apple was cleared of infringement claims related to Motorola’s patents for 3G technology in August.

CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Is this ITC ruling a positive catalyst for Apple?

One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET Investing Framework focuses on catalysts that will move a company’s stock. In this case, Google’s patent infringement claim had the potential to halt iPhone imports until Apple removed Motorola’s technology from its devices, which would have been problematic as iPhone shipments are closely linked to analysts’ assessments of the company and its profitability. In comparison, the decision is a disappointment to Google, which spent $12.5 billion to buy Motorola Mobility and its stockpile of 17,000 patents.

Don’t Miss: Apple vs. Google: It’s Market-Share Warfare, and Cheaper May Be Better.

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