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Google's Motorola Mobility files new complaint against Apple

Warwick Ashford

Google has filed a new patent-infringement case against Apple, claiming that the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch infringe seven of patents inherited through the acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

The complaint filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has not been made public yet, but claims infringement of patents on features including location reminders, e-mail notification and phone/video players, according to Bloomberg.

Apple’s products are made in Asia, and Google is seeking a ban on US imports of devices including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, the report said.

Google's Motorola Mobility unit said in a statement: “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 and Apple have been at loggerheads since licensing talks failed in 2010, with Apple claiming that Motorola Mobility is making unreasonable demands.

Apple also contends that that Google Android phones made by Motorola Mobility and other handset manufacturers are copying key patented features of the iPhone.

The complaint is the second that Motorola Mobility has filed at the ITC against Apple. The first complaint relates to a patent that covers a way computers transmit signals through Wi-Fi.

The ITC is scheduled to announce a final decision on 24 August in the earlier case, and could impose an import ban on the iPhone, Bloomberg said.

Some analysts say that while the ITC ruling on the first complaint is likely to go against Motorola Mobility, the latest complaint is aimed at showing Google's manufacturing partners that it has a patent war chest equal to Apple's and that its acquisition of Motorola Mobility was a good move.

The Wall Street Journal also points out that none of the patents asserted by Motorola in this newest claim is a “standards-essential” patent, which could help Motorola’s case for the ban, if the court finds that Apple is guilty of infringement.

Standards-essential patents are considered so basically necessary for a given industry that patent-holding companies are required to license them at fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory prices.


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