Motorola Sues Apple over 18 Patent Infringements

Motorola is accusing Apple, both in the United States and with the ITC, of infringing on 18 patents related to the Apple iPhone, iPad, iTouch and some Mac computers.

Motorola Mobility is the latest tech company to engage in a legal dispute with Apple. On Oct. 6, the company filed a complaint against the iPhone maker with the ITC (International Trade Commission), accusing Apple of infringing on Motorola patents in technology used in the Apple iPhone, iPad, iTouch and certain Mac computers.

Motorola Mobility, a Motorola subsidiary, additionally filed a complaint against Apple in the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida.

In the ITC complaint, Motorola is asking that the agency to stop the import of Apple products that allegedly infringe on the Motorola patents.

Giving Motorola credit for the "invention of the cell phone," Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, explained the company's actions in a statement on the Motorola Website:

Motorola has innovated and patented throughout every cycle of the telecommunications industry evolution, from Motorola's invention of the cell phone to its development of premier smartphone products. 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.

Motorola's three complaints relate to 18 patents for technology related to Motorola technology for "early state innovations," which Apple uses in several of its products and services, such as MobileMe and the App Store, according to Motorola. The patents additionally relate wireless communication technologies, such as for WiFi and 3G connectivity, antenna design and smartphone technologies for "wireless e-mail, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multidevice synchronization."

In its District Court actions, Motorola Mobility has requested that Apple be made to stop using Motorola's patented technology and compensate Motorola for alleged past infringements. In its complaint to the ITC, it asked that all imports of Apple products using technology relevant to the patents be halted, and that Apple be prohibited from selling already imported products.

"Motorola will continue to take all necessary steps to protect its R&D and intellectual property, which are critical to the company's business," said Dailey.

For nearly a year, Apple has been trading legal documents with Nokia in a back-and-forth that saw its most recent installment Sept. 30, when Apple filed a suit against Nokia in Britain, regarding patents it already complained to the ITC about.

Apple and Taiwan-based smartphone-maker HTC have also sued each other, also over patent infringement claims. And on Oct. 1, Mirror Worlds, which began a patent-infringement suit against Apple in 2008, won a verdict against Apple that could potentially cost Apple $625.5 million.