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Motorola seeks US BlackBerry ban

The handset maker has joined Kodak in requesting a ban on BlackBerry imports into the US, due to alleged patent infringements
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Motorola has joined Eastman Kodak in asking US authorities to ban imports of BlackBerry smartphones into that country, in a dispute over patents.

On Friday, Motorola said it had filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), alleging that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is infringing on five Motorola patents with its products. According to Motorola, RIM used to have a licence for the technology in question, but that licensing deal expired in 2007.

"RIM originally entered into a licence agreement with Motorola in 2003 and has been using Motorola's technologies since the agreement expired in 2007," a Motorola spokesperson told ZDNet UK in an email.

The news comes a week after Kodak filed its own complaint with the ITC, claiming that RIM is violating its patent for colour image previewing and also asking for an import ban. Kodak has made the same allegation against iPhone manufacturer Apple.

The Motorola patents in the dispute relate to Wi-Fi access, application management, user interface and power management. The company wants the ITC to investigate RIM's use of the patented technology. It is seeking an exclusion order that would bar imports of BlackBerry devices into the US and stop further sales of infringing products that have already been imported.

Jonathan Meyer, intellectual property chief at Motorola, said in a statement on Friday: "In light of RIM's continued unlicensed use of Motorola's patents, RIM's use of delay tactics in our current patent litigation, and RIM's refusal to design out Motorola's proprietary technology, Motorola had no choice but to file a complaint with the ITC to halt RIM's continued infringement."

RIM declined to comment on the case.

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