Motorola Mobility has taken a step towards an import ban on Apple devices after a court ruled that the Cupertino firm had violated one of its patents.
Google moved to acquire Motorola Mobility at the end of last year, with its main aim to secure the vast number of patents the company owned which would allow it to defend the Android mobile platform from rivals.
The complaint was initially filled by Motorola Mobility in October 2011 and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has now found that Apple has indeed violated one of the patents.
Apple still ripe in Germany
The patent in question refers to 3G technology, but ITC judges did not find Apple guilty of infringing on a further three patents which were raised in the case.
Interestingly Apple has already appeared in court in Germany accused of violating the same patent, only for judges to rule that Apple had done nothing wrong.
So what does this mean? Well you can be sure Apple will waste no time in flexing its legal strength as it mobilises its army of lawyers, and with the German case to refer to, it's feeling pretty confident.
: "We believe we will have a very strong case on appeal"
Speaking to Bloomberg, Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet said: "We believe we will have a very strong case on appeal".
There is the possibility that the ITC will decide to ban US imports of Apple products, including the new iPad and iPhone 4S, but this would be a hugely controversial move and something which would need approval from a specialist appeals court and Barack Obama himself before it could be enforced.