The U.S. International Trade Commission issued an eagerly awaited determination today in the ongoing Apple iOS v. Android OS patent war, giving a win for Motorola Mobility, whose $12.5 billion acquisition by Google is pending.
ITC Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex’s initial determination was that Motorola’s Droids smartphones do not violate 3 patents at issue: ‘828 ‘607, and ‘430 patents.
The decision is not final, however, because it still needs to get the official sign-off from all six ITC members.
When Google announced last August that it was buying Motorola Mobility, CEO Larry Page explained that one key reason was that wanted more patents to help lawsuits lawsuits targeting Android’s OS:
Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.
The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division is still reviewing Google’s proposed acquisition of the Motorola unit, but one analyst expecting the deal to close in late March.
You can read the initial determination from the ITC administrative law judge below, and track Apple, Google, and Motorola Mobility patent cases using Justia Dockets.