A US judge at the International Trade Commission has found that Apple did not infringe on a Motorola patent with its iPhone.
As reported by Bloomberg, Judge Thomas Pender found that Apple is not violating a Motorola patent with a feature that prevents accidental hangups. That patent is, in fact, invalid, he found.
The decision will have to be reviewed by the full ITC, which could uphold Pender's decision or decide to issue its own determination.
Motorola did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokeswoman told Bloomberg that the company is evaluating its options.
In April, Judge Pender found that Apple had infringed on a 3G patent held by Motorola. By June, the full ITC agreed to review that ruling, and ultimately cleared Apple of any wrongdoing, Bloomberg said.
Motorola Mobility is now owned by Google, which purchased the company last year for $12.5 billion (£7.6 billion) - in part for its treasure trove of patents. Thus far, however, Apple has focused its patent suits on handset makers like Motorola, HTC, and Samsung, prompted Eric Schmidt to say recently that he found it puzzling that Apple had not yet sued Google.
Apple recently settled its differences with HTC and signed a 10-year licensing agreement, but it does not appear that it will do the same with Motorola or Samsung anytime soon. A California judge this week rejected Samsung's request for a new patent trial over juror misconduct, but she also shot down Apple's request to ban Samsung products in the US.