Moto crushes Apple to cider in preliminary trade commission ruling

by Howard Wolinsky

Chalk one up for the green robots.

In its campaign to stomp Google’s  Android, Apple took a hit Friday at the hands of the U.S. International Trade Commission, CNET reported.

In a preliminary decision, Apple has lost on its claim filed in 2010 against Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., which is being acquired by Google for $12.5 billion. Apple charged that Moto’s Droid, Droid 2, Droid X and a few other smartphones were infringing on Apple patents. The full commission still needs to ratify the decision.

TechCrunch explained the commission has the ability to block potentially infringing devices from import into the United States.

Apple declined comment.

Motorola was happy. “We are pleased with today’s favorable outcome for Motorola Mobility,” said Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility. “Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to develop technology and build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We are proud to leverage this broad and deep portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience.”

Apple has made it a mission to attack the competition, including Samsung and HTC, claiming patent infringment. It’s been a win-win for the lawyers, who have been filing suits at each other.

TechCrunch said: “[W]hile Apple’s spray of attacks may have initially seemed like they could pose a major obstacle to the growth of Android, the courts haven’t been particularly cooperative in its mission to destroy Google’s smartphone platform.”

The latest ruling no doubt would have frustrated Steve Jobs, the late Apple co-founder, who told his biographer Walter Isaacson he considered Android “a stolen product” and declared his aim to go “thermonuclear” and destroy Android. Jobs told his biographer: “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong.”

Apple won a limited decision against HTC over minor patents last month.