Motorola Mobility sues Apple (again); seeks iPhone, Mac import ban

Motorola Mobility sues Apple (again); seeks iPhone, Mac import ban

Summary: Google's newly acquired phone making unit is to sue Apple (again) for patent infringement. Another ruling is expected this week: is the tide turning on Apple?

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TOPICS: Google, Apple, Legal
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Motorola Mobility has filed new patent infringement claims against Apple, and wants its range of desktop and mobile devices banned from U.S. sale.

The Google-owned hardware maker is claiming the iPhone maker infringes seven of its patents, including location reminders, email notification, and even Siri -- the voice activated 'intelligent' assistant, Motorola Mobility said on Friday.

Motorola Mobility is seeking an import ban at the U.S. International Trade Commission to prevent the import of iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers built in China.

"We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations," Motorola Mobility said, reports Bloomberg.

The two technology giants continue to bicker over patents -- an ongoing battle since 2010 -- after talks to license each others' products failed. 

It's not the first time Motorola's smartphone making arm has filed a suit against Apple. An August 24 ruling will determine the outcome of a previous case in relating to Wi-Fi patents. If Apple infringed a Motorola-held patent, iPhone sales could be blocked in the U.S. until the patent is licensed or removed.

But in this second ding-dong between the companies, one additional twist could help Motorola Mobility's case. The patents asserted in the paperwork filed on Friday are not standard-essential patents. Courts cannot force companies to license patents that are not standard essential -- meaning Apple may have to ditch using the patent altogether. 

Apple has previously argued that Motorola's licensing fees are disproportionally too high. The ITC said Apple had infringed one of Motorola's patents, which could see a ban on iPhone imports as soon as early as this week.

How this one will turn out is anybody's guess. It's looking as though the patent portfolio Google picked up in its Motorola Mobility purchase could pay off after all.

Topics: Google, Apple, Legal

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86 comments
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  • Simple Answer: Don't Steal

    If Apple weren't such a blatant thief of other's Intellectual Property, it wouldn't keep getting into trouble with the law.

    Maybe the whole company should be sent on a Toughlove Boot Camp. That might straighten them out and dissuade them from a life of crime.
    ldo17
    • What you mean is...

      Don't steal except from Apple right? It is OK for Samsung, Google and Moto to ape Apple's IP and not pay but not the other way around?

      This will end with basic cross licensing (something Google is vehemently against) and the world will keep spinning.
      Bruizer
      • Exactly

        When google uses a pantent they get their *** sued off. Now they decided to do the same to apple.
        jlm123hi
        • I think this one is BS.

          Apple's method of doing thing is a different implementation, based on a different look/feel, and different algorithms from what i know about these.

          I'm wondering if Alta VIsta (the people that now own that technology) don't sue Google for having an internet search engine. I mean this is RIDICULOUS for Motorola/Google launching this patent infringement. Motorola/Google didn't implement the technology the same.

          One can take an existing patent and change it enough to get another patent if there are enough changes to it. That's perfectly acceptable.

          Siri works differently than the other voice activation.
          Email, video player? Come on. Motorola didn't invent email or video players, or notification other than paging.

          This is just BS patent lawsuit from my point of view.

          This is Google's way of trying to take down their BIGGEST competition.
          RichDavis1
          • did you hear the saying

            "Do as you would be done by"?
            eulampius
          • This is the new normal capitalism, sorry

            Google is trying to take down competition...

            So is Apple... especially by driving a wedge with Samsung and using their victories (eventually) to exterminate everyone else...

            So will Microsoft...

            You name it, this is their game.
            HypnoToad72
          • RichDavis1

            Do you realize each of your arguments could be applied to the parties Apple is suing?
            "Apple's method of doing thing is a different implementation": about the same can be said of other companies, even mine.
            davidtayo
          • I think Apple is BS

            RichDavis1,

            You made the whole Xerox thing sound so innocent, but like Isheep, you are wrong or don't know the full story, so I will help you.

            1.Xerox Corp sues Apple for $150 million in royalties and damages, claiming that Apple used Xerox copyright software in the Macintosh microcomputer and its precursor.

            So ask you can see, APPLE was FORCE TO PAY , not gave so money like you try to insinuate..
            Marty Kaan
          • Xerox

            was paid for the visit by Steve Jobs. They had no wiring GUI. They also received stock. They waited years to sue, and Microsoft ended up with their use of the GUI being the biggest success.
            donnalb
          • You

            are wrong. I suggest that people research it and see the true story.
            donnalb
          • you cant patent search

            Apple has tried to patent common things, the difference is that Motorola is a innovation company. They invented cell phones as we know it, and the original networks behind everything. They are a Original R&D company. They own patents because they invented that tech.
            Jimster480
          • Awwwww....

            Yall dont like it when your precious Apple gets sued over some REAL patents do you?
            jamz2277
        • Agreed.

          Everyone is patent-trolling, or everyone patent-trolls the moment they whine about the lack of innovation or "qualified talent", amongst the other usual hollow memes...
          HypnoToad72
      • Google should get their rear ends sued

        for copying an browser based search engine. They weren't the first.
        RichDavis1
        • Somebody came up with Siri long before Apple did,

          and it was on Android.

          If you wrote something similar, Apple would have your hide, citing a number of patents, even though you stole nothing.

          "Make a better mouse trap" vs "patent the mouse trap's design and eliminate all who dare improve on it"...

          Especially how Apple, Android-hater, must hate it more when web articles entitled "10 things Apple took from Android for iOS5", etc, etc, are put out... but before I digress...
          HypnoToad72
          • The developer of Siri

            did not license it for use to Google, and sold it to Apple.
            donnalb
          • Yes but Siri wasnt the first

            So even the developer of Siri who did license to Apple wasnt the first to have such a piece of software.
            Jimster480
          • Why didn't they sue?

            Then why didn't Android sue the owner of Siri prior to Apple? Apple purchased Siri.
            donnalb
          • Siri

            Apple purchased Siri. They didn't purchase voice recognition patents or AI patents. As long as others don't use code from Siri project, Apple can't make any claims on anything but the code used for Siri.
            Do the fanboys understand the difference?
            warboat
        • No

          Just because you arent the first one to do it doesnt mean you need to license something. Not everything is patented or even patentable. And things that are, are licensed.
          Jimster480