As myriad legal tussles roll on between smartphone manufacturers, Apple's suffered a knock-back by the International Trade Commission. Apple first lodged its complaint against Moto in October 2010, accusing its Droid family of violating the patents found in its own phones. This was countered by a volley of patent violation complaints from Motorola. Granted, this is still a preliminary ruling, but looks like Motorola may have won this round of legal drudgery.

Update: We've added Motorola's comments on the preliminary ruling below.
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Motorola Mobility Comments on Initial Determination from ITC

ALJ determines that Motorola Mobility does not violate Apple's patents
Jan. 13, 2012

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Jan. 13, 2012 – Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) ("Motorola Mobility") today announced that it has received notice that the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") in the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") action brought by Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) against Motorola Mobility has issued an initial determination. The ALJ ruled in favor of Motorola Mobility, finding no violation for any of the three Apple patents listed in Apple's suit.

"We are pleased with today's favorable outcome for Motorola Mobility," said Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility. "Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to develop technology and build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We are proud to leverage this broad and deep portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience."

Business Risks

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the impact of this litigation and future actions with respect to this litigation. Forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the successful defense of the claims by Microsoft and protection of the company's intellectual property; the timing of the matters before the ITC; the company's continued ability to sell its mobile device products; and the other risks and uncertainties contained and identified in Motorola Mobility's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof Motorola Mobility does not undertake any obligation to update the forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances or update the reasons that actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements, except as required by law.