Though Apple's legal battles with Samsung have taken up most of the spotlight for patent infringement cases for the past year, Apple has been in a similar legal fight with Google's Motorola over alleged infringements. Back in March of last year, the International Trade Commission ruled that Motorola's devices did not infringe upon Apple's patents related to multitouch technology on smartphones, and then terminated any further investigation into the matter. But Apple appealed the ITC's decision, and this time, things came down in Apple's favor.

In a decision issued today, the Federal Circuit appeals court disagreed with the ITC on two things: that the '607 patent was invalid, and with the ITC's construction of the '828 patent that had resulted in the ITC finding that Motorola hadn't infringed. The case has been sent back to the ITC for a new investigation and another ruling, but based on the appellate court's decision, things may go more positively for Apple this time. That means that Apple could win an import ban on such timeless devices as the Droid X, Charm, and XOOM, which wouldn't have a great effect on Motorola's bottom line these days. However, there is a good chance that since so many of Motorola's older devices are claimed to be infringing upon Apple's patents in this case, the ITC could issue a relatively broad exclusion order that includes more recent devices that weren't around at the time the case was started.