|By Maureen O'Gara||
|July 3, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
The ITC's six-member board of commissioners said last Monday that it's going to review allegations that Apple's iPhones and iPads tread on four Motorola Mobility patents.
In April one of the agency's administrative law judges found Apple infringes one of the patents, which happens to be a 3G FRAND-pledged patent that eliminates signal noise, a little number Motorola is asking a price Apple refuses to pay to license.
An import ban could be riding on what the commissioners decide. A ruling is due in August and the commissioners appear to be looking to nix bans based on FRAND patents.
The board's leanings should become apparent next week.
The commissioners have also got to figure out what to do about a finding that Microsoft's Xbox infringes four Motorola patents, three of them standards-essential. They said Monday they needed an extra week, or until July 2, to decide. That was after Microsoft filed a motion seeking partial termination of the investigation.
Microsoft's got pretty much the same problem as Apple.
Apple has taken its issues with Motorola and its standards-essential patents to the European Commission and has filed suit charging Motorola with breaching its contractual obligations to license standards-essential patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
Microsoft's like-minded suit goes to trial in November.
US senators, congressmen, the Federal Trade Commission, trade groups and companies like IBM, Cisco, HP and Intel have recently opposed Motorola's treatment of its FRAND-pledged patents.