Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

Summary: Is there anyone in the wireless handset business NOT suing each other? Motorola has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple alleging that the iPhone, iPad, iTouch and some Macs infringe on patents.


Is there anyone in the wireless handset business NOT suing each other? Motorola has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple alleging that the iPhone, iPad, iTouch and some Macs infringe on patents.

Motorola contends that Apple is infringing on 18 patents, "which relate to early-stage innovations." Even MobileMe and Apple's App Store are mentioned in Motorola's complaint.

The patents related to wireless communication technologies including:

  • WCDMA (3G),
  • GPRS,
  • 802.11,
  • antenna design,
  • and a laundry list of smartphone technologies ranging from wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.

Motorola is seeking an investigation into Apple and an injunction on the importation of infringing products. Motorola wants Apple to stop using its patents and seeks compensation.

In a statement, Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, said:

"After Apple's late entry into the telecommunications market, we engaged in lengthy negotiations, but Apple has refused to take a license. We had no choice but to file these complaints to halt Apple's continued infringement. Motorola will continue to take all necessary steps to protect its R&D and intellectual property, which are critical to the company's business."

For those keeping score at home, Microsoft sued Motorola over Android last week.

And before that:

Topics: Legal, Apple, Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

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  • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

    Sigh!! I wish these guys stopped this patent ruckus and give us better stuff on the phones ... it's not like we (the consumers) are making any money out of this exclusivity wars!!
    • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

      I agree. Actually it is going to cost us all money. More money per phone to pay for litigation.
  • Moto

    This is the THIRD TIME - Speaking of failures, you stupid system crashed and lost my comment, so I will try again - agggh!

    Essentially what I was trying to say, is that - when it doubt, companies sue each other.

    And, here's a great expert witness who knows wireless and a great friend too.

    Great article and I Twittered it too.

    Cheers, TC
  • Well known strategy!

    Patent EVERYTHING and see what sticks. The more patents you have the better your defense against the Microsofts and Apples of the world. Wait til HP and TI get in on the action.
  • Interesting Graphic

    there are a couple of sites that have interesting graphic of who is suing whom?

    In today's world... unfortunately business as usual?

    Guess they have yet to be updated?
  • Hmm - Rather than namby-pamby software patents, Motorola...

    ... has included very tangible hardware and wireless patents. This is a signal to Microsoft that Motorola's phone patents are deep and easily defended.
    • Why would this have anything to do with Microsoft?

      Hardware patents don't affect a software maker.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

      @BanjoPaterson : WTF does Microsoft have to do with Motorola suing Apple?
      Gis Bun
      • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

        @Gis Bun
        because a judgement for Motorola in the Motorola v Apple case would have no small effect on THIS case especially since many of the items MS is suing M over are those M is suing A over
  • Another one!

    I think we need like a "Patent Lawsuit" zone here on ZDNET. Maybe set up an odds board and award prizes for whomever comes closest to the actual outcome (assuming we are all still alive when these are settled).
    • Didn't MS just sue Motorola?


      If Apple could sue MS (maybe they already did) we could have a nice corporate threesome going. They could all take turns giving it to each other and we could all watch. ;-)
      • Apple has tried to sue MS

        @Economister <br>Again and again, Apple has lost their court cases against MS. The thing is that Apple needs MS to come up with the ideas that Apple will repackage 5 years later.
  • This lawsuit is good, but for a different reason

    Motorola's lawsuit against Apple will probably accomplish something good even if the final verdict favors Apple. The chaotic free-for-all lawsuits by all parties will probably disincline the courts to entertain Apple's lawsuit against HTC, which I believe has less credibility than Motorola's lawsuit against Apple, a latecomer to the cellphone industry.
    Benjie Dog
  • I can't comment

    After all, all these companies say "Competition is good".

    nuff said. Let them sue each other out of existence.
  • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

    You know what? Forget it. I'm just gonna grab the popcorn and watch. Cause this is just ridicules.
  • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

    Amazing,, sooner or later these guys will work out that it does not pay to steal advancements that others have developed. Just because another company is making money from those idea's does not give everyone a right for a free ride.

    People work hard, and are paid lots of money to develop the specific technologies that make products want to be purchased.

    That cost, of the development of those technologies, is paid for by the company who did the development and hard work. To make a product or intergrate a method into their product that makes it of value and function to consumers..

    The people who pay for that technology, should be paying those that developed it, and got it to a stage of being commercial.

    Its NOT right that some other company should just steal that development, take no risk, and profit from the hard work of other engineers and designers.

    Who actually need to be paid for their work, otherwise that work is not done..

    So if every company just used what they could steal off someone else, then there would be little or no development or advancement in technology.

    That applies here, we are forced to use a single product, (patented method), just re-packaged by different people.

    It would be far better if competing companies actually developed competing technology.

    You know, they could employ engineers, and designers, pay them, give them jobs, create an industry.

    Or you can not hire engineers and designers, and you can steal others technology, and a few sales staff makes oodles of money, but there is no path for technology development or advancement, and far less development and engineering going on.

    When AMD competes with INTEL, they do so by employing engineers, scientists and they work hard to develop compatible but competing technologies, the consumer wins because we have a choice technologies, and from different design houses.

    But if AMD just repackaged INTEL chips, that would be going backwards, we would no longer get technical developments from different sources.

    We would end up with a one product, and one method world.
    And that would really really suck..

    So good on motorola, MS, i4i, and all others that use the LAW correctly to gain protection of their technologies, and to promote the advancement of competing technologies.

    You dont like the idea of having several different sources for your tech ? or would you rather the one tech, just in different clothing, with a different brand name.

    I know what I would prefer.

    If you dont like patents and protections on designs, then take a look at some of the industries where the protection of patents or copyright dont work.

    Try for example, military technology, they cannot make their advancements public, or place them in patent applications. They HAVE to keep it all VERY SECRET, that is their only choice.

    So if it were not for patents, do you think it would be any better in the consumer market ?

    Ofcourse not, companies would have to keep their works highly secret.

    Its getting that way more and more now with the great deal of illegal downloading and copyright breaching, and software theft.

    Because of that extra measures have to be put in place to protect that information. Welcome DRM and the likes.

    DRM is just a paddlelock on the door that you are not supposed to go into anyway.
    If you cant be trusted not the go in that door, then expect it to be locked.

    Same will apply to software, more and more, encryption chips will be installed on computers, and there is no reason why software, including the OS could not be run as a real time encrypted system, end computer hacking.

    The only reason this has to be done is because there are those abusing the system.

    I used to like to download obscure things from torrents, but because thousands of people wanted the latest movies and other items of considerable value, this caused a crack down on torrents and downloading..

    So for all you greedy pigs who want the latest movies for free, you screw it up for the rest of us.. thanks for that..

    You're the reason we have DRM, and strong copyright and patent laws, because without them you just cant be trusted.

    Same for technologies it seems, if you see something you like there is this idea, that you have a right to take it..

    You dont, develop your own market changing and popular technologies. Dont just repackage someone elses hard work, for a quick buck..
    • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement


      Good points, but keep in mind that many of these so called "infringements" are really just different companies coming up with similar solutions to similar problems. It's not necessarily the case that they are stealing each others ideas. If there is only 1 good way to do something, naturally, everyone will do it the same way, but these days, no matter how obvious a development is, the first one to the patent office wins. It's ridiculous and everyone loses in the long run.
    • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

      @Aussie_Troll [b]So good on motorola, MS, i4i, and all others that use the LAW correctly to gain protection of their technologies, and to promote the advancement of competing technologies.[/b]

      I notice the conspicuous absence of Apple, HTC, and Google... are you saying these 3 companies are NOT using the law correctly to gain protection for their IP?
    • RE: Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

      In your view of things ...
      Every home construction should be new and unique. Companies could sue over "stealing" ideas like doors and stairs and windows. Tires, windshields and seat-belts, well that's the hard work of someone else.

      Hell, all these phone companies should pay royalties to Mr. Bell (or his heirs) by your logic. Innovative ideas get rewarded, obvious evolution of product gets copied.

      The idea of multi-touch has been around a lot longer than Apples newest products. So how apple gets rewarded for being unique and non-obvious is well beyond me.

      My guess is the patent office is somehow corrupted.
  • Patent Lawyers in the 23rd Century

    The USS Enterprise wouldn't have gotten off the ground because some POS patent lawyer would sue for warp drive or transporter patent infringement.