back to article Here we go again: Apple gets second bite in ITC Moto patent spat

A US appeals court has overturned an International Trade Commission decision that invalidated one Apple patent brought against Motorola – and decided that Moto didn't infringe on another. The ITC decided last year that the phone firm was off the hook on the two patents, but the appeals court ruled that it erred in its decision …

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Cliché alert

"The fruity firm now finds itself directly in contention with the Chocolate Factory"

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Facepalm

Re: Cliché alert

"The fruity firm now finds itself directly in confection with the Chocolate Factory"

That was 'sweet' of me to fix that for you.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Cliché alert

The Doctors say serotoin made me violent, or maybe it was the lack of serotoin that made me violent. Either way, one more bad pun and I'm going with my instincts. You've been warned.

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And if they in turn merged...

Would it be the "Fruity Chocolate", or the "Chocolaty Fruit" company? Mmmm... either reminds me of a nice chocolate fondue. :-)

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Roo
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Devil

Re: And if they in turn merged...

If they merged they would become Fruit & Nut.

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Re: And if they in turn merged...

"Would it be the "Fruity Chocolate", or the "Chocolaty Fruit" company?"

Prior art.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And if they in turn merged...

"Prior art."

We'll see what the courts have to say about that.

Tim Cook

Sent from my iDroid. (Google should have used that name for Google Glass)

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Devil

Re: And if they in turn merged...

"If they merged they would become Fruit & Nut."

Nah .... Whole Nut

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Re: And if they in turn merged...

Apple would fudge their pants over the "i"...how about eyeDroid?

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So...

Between this ruling and the Obama/import ban bit, can we just assume that the US government will prop Apple through a variety of questionable judgments and new legislation until they've won all of their lawsuits? This is getting a bit silly. Why even have the ITC, the only people who really have the qualifications to rule on patents, if you step on them every time they do anything significant?

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Re: So...

I think it is a bit like allowing EU referendums to promote electorate involvement, there is nothing to stop it happening just so long as they return the right result.

and they will keep going round the loop until they do

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

> Why even have the ITC, the only people who really have the qualifications to rule on patents...

The Federal courts have dealt with patent cases since the founding the US, while the ITC has been around since 1916. I believe the Federal courts are plenty qualified to handle patent cases.

Companies go to the ITC not because they are the most qualified, but because the ITC process results in much faster results than the Federal courts, and the only outcome of an ITC infringement ruling is an import ban.

One of the reasons Federal court is slow is that they are more deliberate and thorough. The ITC can help mitigate that bottleneck, but when tough issues come up, it is best to let them be sorted out in Federal court.

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Re: So...

I could maybe buy that line of argument if federal judges ruling on patent issues were required to have an engineering background or otherwise be able to understand the (in)significance of a given technology. But they're not and they don't. Ergo critical antenna designs = not innovation, shiny buttons = innovation.

The courts are why the patent system is so impossibly broken, they're not going to be involved in fixing it. The ITC tends to rule more sensibly.

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Re: thoroughly done more like it.

we all loved the thoroughness of that elected head of jury.

What a hoot.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: thoroughly done more like it.

> we all loved the thoroughness of that elected head of jury.

That is why there is an appeals processes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

> I could maybe buy that line of argument if federal judges ruling on patent issues were required to have an engineering background or otherwise be able to understand the (in)significance of a given technology.

The Administrative Law Judges at the ITC are still judges according to the Supreme Court. The ITC has a pretty technically competent staff providing information to the ALJs, but federal judges also have access to their own technical experts. Ultimately, though, a judge is ruling on the law, not the significance of a given technology.

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Re: So...

Except references to subjectives like 'obviousness' and 'significance' are littered throughout patent law, and you can't talk about 'the law' in a vacuum without being able to understand the technology well enough. That's where juries and judges all too often fail miserably, and where ITC judges do very much better.

And I realize that ITC judges are still judges, but they're highly specialized and often coming from technical backgrounds. That makes them uniquely qualified compared to their generalist colleagues in other courts.

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Anyone want to bet...

... on how many times the verdict flips back and forth on this case and its myriad appeals? Side bets available on how long it takes the US government to realise these disputes aren't useful commerce and gets around to passing some sort of patent reform bill?

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Re: Anyone want to bet...

#1. They recently did pass a reform bill and all it did nothing to help

#2. Congress is incapable of passing anything now.

#3. Those making the laws also tend to make a living (or did in the past) on billable hours or have relatives/buddies that do so all in all good luck with that.

Repeat after me. Billable hours.

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30 years from now

I will be telling my grandkids how I remember when companies used to compete on the quality of their products instead of the quality of their legal teams.

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Re: 30 years from now

you must be 100 then, so are you really expecting to live to 130?

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Re: 30 years from now

Nah even in the 1970's legally attacking a competitor was considered a big deal and not SOP.

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