Apple Gets Sued by Motorola Over Phone Patents

Motorola's experienced a revitalization thanks to its recent Android handsets, and with some fight now flowing through the company's veins, it is going on the legal offensive against Apple.

Specifically, it's Motorola Mobility that 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 patent infringement complaints against Apple 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 found on many of Apple’s core products and associated services, including:

  • MobileMe
  • App Store
  • WCDMA (3G)
  • GPRS
  • 802.11
  • antenna design
  • wireless email
  • proximity sensing
  • software application management
  • location-based services
  • 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 court, Motorola Mobility has requested that Apple cease using the technology and provide compensation for past infringement.

Given that we're already in the fourth generation of iPhone, what took Motorola so long before it sprang into action? According to Motorola, it tried to come to terms with Apple and this latest move was the last straw.

Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, explained, “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.”

Apple has yet to respond.

Marcus Yam is a technology evangelist for Intel Corporation, the latest in a long line of tech-focused roles spanning a more than 20-year career in the industry. As Executive Editor, News on Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, Marcus was responsible for shaping the sites' news output, and he also spent a period as Editor of Outdoors & Sports at Digital Trends.

  • spentshells
    good and I hope they win
  • alikum
    In your face, Apple! Although those so called patents look like common stuff we have on most smart phones, I still think that it's good that Apple is getting a taste of its own medicine.
  • rantoc
    Apple innovation at its best - Abuse others without paying up.

    Only surprice was that the "antenna design" in the list, Motorola usualy has quite good reception levels while Ip4 has the worst in most tests.
  • belardo
    MS sues HTC, Moto sues Apple, Apple sues MS, MS sues google...

    Its all some sort of perverted circle jerk, really.
  • Tag, you're sued!
  • x3style
    Copyright and Patenting at it's best. Slowing human progress since 1709 and 1790, in favor of personal gain. A big hoppedi whop for civilization.
  • alidan
    x3styleCopyright and Patenting at it's best. Slowing human progress since 1709 and 1790, in favor of personal gain. A big hoppedi whop for civilization.
    patents aren't to bad, i believe that after so many years they go public and free for everyone to use.

    but because of mikey mouse, we have a 75 year wait on copyright, which use to be 25 years.
  • DjEaZy
    ... antenna design??? then motorola is to blame for iPhone's antenagate? LOL...
  • dan117
    Motorola should have made a patent for bad signal when holding a phone normally.
    Patent trolling lol.
  • belardo
    Then apple can sue Moto for the bad antenna design!