Openwave says Apple, RIM violate patents

The mobile software vendor wants the U.S. to block importation of Apple and RIM devices

Mobile software vendor Openwave Systems filed a complaint against Apple and Research In Motion at the U.S. International Trade Commission on Wednesday, saying the companies violated its patents and asking the agency to block importation of their products.

Openwave said Apple and RIM have infringed its patents with devices including Apple's iPhone and iPad models and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook and Curve 9330. The companies violate patents on technology involving mobile e-mail, app updates, cloud computing, information navigation and secure mobile connection with a server. Also on Wednesday, the company filed a similar complaint in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, according to an Openwave press release.

Openwave said it tried to reach licensing agreements with Apple and RIM before taking legal action but did not receive a substantive response from them.

"We believe our legal position is strong and our prospects of prevailing are very good," Openwave CEO Ken Denman said in a written statement. It typically takes 15 to 18 months to receive a judgment from the ITC, he said.

Formed through the merger of Phone.com and Software.com in 2000, Openwave sells software to mobile operators for messaging, billing, and traffic analysis and management. The company says it holds more than 200 patents and was the first company to help carriers offer mobile Internet browsing and photo messaging, among other technologies. Its customers include Verizon Wireless, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint Nextel and Vodafone.

Apple and RIM did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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IDG News Service
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