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Apple fanbois' accidental bonking ruled too obvious by watchdog

Googorola touchscreen fumble patent cry rejected by ITC

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A US trade watchdog says Apple iPhones do not infringe a patent that described the detection of fanbois accidentally touching the screen.

The ITC agreed with a judge who ruled that the technology, patented by Google-owned Motorola Mobility, was too obvious. Specifically, the patent covered the accidental pressing of one's head to the touchscreen while making a call.

In total, the fruity firm was accused of infringing six patents held by Moto, including technology to selectively storing of portions of received messages and keeping details of a phone user's location private.

As well as the touchscreen head banging patent, Apple was earlier cleared of ripping off three of the other protected designs. The final two patents in the case have been withdrawn.

The patent-infringement complaint was lodged against Apple by Moto back in 2010 and became Google's problem when the advertising king acquired Motorola Mobility last year for $12.5bn, a buyout at least partly motivated by the mobe-maker's patent portfolio.

Google can still appeal the decision [PDF] to a higher US court, but there's no word yet on whether it's keen on doing that. ®

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