Apple and Motorola's patent spat at the ITC has been dragging on for months, with Moto getting a favorable infringement ruling early on -- but it seems that Apple will be ending the year on a legal high note. That aforementioned win by MMI was overturned in August, when the Commission found that Apple had not, in fact, infringed one of Motorola's WiFi patents. In making that ruling, the Commission remanded the case to Judge Pender and asked him to revisit his finding of non-infringement on a separate, touch UI patent at issue.
Today, Pender finished that task, making an Initial Determination on Remand that, while Apple's products infringe the patent claim in question, there is no violation because said claim is invalid. Why the finding of invalidity? Well, Pender found that the claim is anticipated by another, older patent that's owned by Motorola, but not asserted in the action. This undoubtedly brings good tidings to Apple's legal department, as it could mean this fight with Moto (as opposed to all the others) is coming to an end. That said, Motorola isn't bereft of holiday hope -- it can still appeal Pender's latest ruling.