Apple, Google Embroiled in Patent Lawsuit Over Smartphones

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2012-08-19 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Google's newly acquired Motorola Mobility goes after Apple, alleging patent infringements on technology found in Apple's iPhone.

The ubiquitous purveyor of sleek, expensive technology goods is no stranger to litigation: Apple is entering into the final phase of its lawsuit with Samsung, locked in battle over technology patents, stolen ideas and unfair competitive practices. Now Google has filed a lawsuit against Apple through its recently acquired Motorola Mobility arm, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and claiming Apple has violated patents related to email notifications, video players and location reminders, and patents related to Apple's Siri voice-recognition program, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

"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 in a statement emailed to the news service. Apple has already filed a suit with the ITC against Motorola Mobility, following a March judgment that found Motorola innocent of infringing on Apple patents. The high-stakes lawsuits come as Google's Android platform-and the handsets it's found on, are taking a greater amount of market share from Apple's iPhone and iOS software, which is due for a major upgrade following the expected September release date of Apple's latest version of their smartphone.

Google recently announced it is laying off 4,000 workers in its Motorola Mobility unit, or about 20 percent of its 20,000-member workforce, just three months after acquiring the company for $12.5 billion in May. The cuts are being made to try to reverse financial losses in the Motorola unit, which has lost money in 14 of the last 16 quarters, Google reported in the filing. The job cuts will include about 30 Motorola facility closings, according to the Form 8-K filing.

On another front, Samsung and Apple are expected to make closing arguments Aug. 21 before the jury in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. begins its deliberations the next day. In the final day of testimony Aug. 17, both sides presented rebuttal witnesses to bolster their cases in which the adversaries accused each other of patent infringement. Samsung has challenged the validity of Apple's patents, presenting a tablet computer developed as far back as 1994 as evidence that the Apple iPad introduced in 2010 was based on prior art. Apple has rebutted that testimony by arguing that the iPad is significantly more sophisticated than that earlier device.

 
 
 
 
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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