Motorola, a leading maker of various network equipment and mobile phones, has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iTouch and certain Mac computers infringe Motorola patents. Motorola Mobility also filed similar complaints in the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida.
Overall, Motorola Mobility’s three complaints include 18 patents, which relate to early-stage innovations developed by Motorola in key technology areas found on many of Apple’s core products and associated services, including MobileMe and the App Store. The Motorola patents include wireless communication technologies, such as WCDMA (3G), GPRS, 802.11 and antenna design, and key smartphone technologies including wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.
Motorola Mobility has requested that the ITC commence an investigation into Apple’s use of Motorola’s patents and, among other things, issue an exclusion order barring Apple’s importation of infringing products, prohibiting further sales of infringing products that have already been imported, and halting the marketing, advertising, demonstration and warehousing of inventory for distribution and use of such imported products in the United States. In the District Court actions, Motorola Mobility has requested that Apple cease using Motorola’s patented technology and provide compensation for Apple’s past infringement.
“We have extensively licensed our industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, consisting of tens of thousands of patents in the U.S. and worldwide. 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,” said Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility.
Earlier Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement and was later counter-sued by Apple alleging it of doing the same thing. At press time Apple's reaction was not clear.