Why Is Google Quoting Steve Jobs?
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is attempting to engineer a United States International Trade Commission import ban against Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone based on an alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862. Patent ‘862 registers the concept for disabling the physical keys or touchscreen of a phone to prevent inadvertent phone interaction when it is near the user’s head. Google is fighting this proxy patent war through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Motorola Mobility.
In its quest to assert the originality of its patent, Google has introduced a quote from a biography on Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson. Per Google’s brief, via Foss Patents, it states: “On cross examination, Apple’s expert, Mr. Lanning, could not deny that Mr. Jobs himself characterized the incorporation of a proximity sensor into the iPhone as a ‘breakthrough’ to his biographer, Walter Isaacson: ‘[a]nother breakthrough was the sensor that figured out when you put the phone to your ear, so that your lobes didn’t accidentally activate some function.’ [...] The sensor described by Mr. Jobs is the very technology that the ALJ found to infringe.”
However, according to Foss Patents, an Administrative Law Judge has already ruled twice in Apple’s favor on this particular issue, once in April 2012 and again in December 2012. In the initial ruling, the judge deemed the ‘862 patent invalid based on its indefiniteness. After his decision was reversed by the ITC Commission, the investigation was remanded to back to the ALJ.