Motorola Mobility files new patent claim against Apple with U.S. ITC

Meanwhile, the International Trade Commission is due to issue final decision on earlier case

Google-owned Motorola Mobility has filed yet another claim against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission, this time asserting that devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch infringe patents related to features such as email notifications, location reminders, and media players.

In the new claim, Motorola Mobility asserts that Apple has infringed seven of its patents, a Motorola official confirmed Saturday. Motorola Mobility is asking the ITC to prohibit imports of iPhones, iPads and iPods that allegedly infringe those patents, which are not standards-essential, according to the official.

The documents citing the specific patents are not yet available from the ITC. Motorola Mobility issued a media statement Friday saying it had filed the new complaint with the ITC.

We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apples unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers innovations," the emailed statement said.

Apple officials were not immediately available to comment.

The announcement of the new claim comes a week before the ITC is due to issue a final ruling on an earlier case. In April, an ITC judge said in a preliminary ruling that Apple infringed on a patent for eliminating noise. However, that claim is for a standards-essential patent. So-called standards-essential patents cover functions that are part of industry standard technology. Lawsuits related to such patents have created controversy in the tech market and legal circles, because these patents are expected by standards bodies to be licensed under so-called fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms.

With Motorola stressing that the new complaint announced Friday is not for standards-essential patents, it is signaling that it has more legal ammunition in its battle against products from rival Apple.

The ITC cases are only part of the patent duel between Motorola Mobility and Apple. Apple and Motorola Mobility have separately appealed the June decision of Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to throw out a case involving FRAND terms for standards-essential patents.

In addition, Apple has asked the European Commission to intervene in its patent dispute with Motorola Mobility, which has resulted in European cases including a legal battle in German courts.

Motorola Mobility's patent claims have taken on wider significance in the tech industry since Google recently closed its US$12.5 billion deal to acquire Motorola Mobility, at least in part for Motorola's portfolio of patents.

Smartphones built on Google's Android operating system have been under patent and copyright attack in numerous venues around the world. For example, Apple and Samsung are currently on trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in a case that involves Samsung Android-based devices.

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Marc Ferranti

IDG News Service

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