Motorola sues Apple over iPhone 4S, iCloud

Motorola loads a new legal volley against Apple with a suit that claims Apple's iPhone 4S and iCloud infringes on six of its patents.

In the seemingly endless Apple-Motorola legal slugfest, Motorola has just taken a few new swings at its rival--possibly at the behest of its would-be acquirer, Google.

A new Motorola lawsuit, filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and spotted by patent blogger Florian Mueller, claims Apple is infringing on six of the company's patents with two of its latest product offerings: the iPhone 4S and iCloud.

In the suit--Motorola's second against Apple in this particular court--the company makes the case that Apple has infringed and continues to infringe on those patents. Motorola is seeking damages and an injunction of the two products.

"Apple's infringing activities have caused and will continue to cause Motorola Mobility irreparable harm, for which it has no adequate remedy at law, unless Apple's infringing activities are enjoined by this Court," the company said in its filing.

Motorola notes that it filed the supplementary lawsuit because a court order barred it from adding additional infringement claims to its first suit.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Motorola spokesperson said:

Today's action relates to the same patents we are already asserting in Florida against Apple. The complaint relates specifically to two newer products, the iPhone 4S and iCloud. Motorola Mobility has worked diligently over the years to develop cutting-edge technology and to build an intellectual property portfolio that is respected by the entire industry.

Among the patents Motorola says Apple is infringing are:

  • U.S. Patent No. 5,710,987, which covers a "receiver having concealed external antenna." Motorola was issued the patent in 1998 and lists Apple's iPhone 4S as an offender.


  • U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119, which covers "multiple pager status synchronization system and method." Motorola was issued the patent in 1998 and lists Apple's iPhone 4S and iCloud as the offending products.


  • U.S. Patent No. 5,958,006, which covers "method and apparatus for communicating summarized data." Motorola was issued the patent in 1999 and lists Apple's iPhone 4S and iCloud as the offending products.


  • U.S. Patent No. 6,101,531, which covers a "system for communicating user-selected criteria filter prepared at wireless client to communication server for filtering data transferred from host to said wireless client." Motorola was issued the patent in 2000 and lists Apple's iPhone 4S and iCloud as the offending products.


  • U.S. Patent No. 6,008,737 , which covers "apparatus for controlling utilization of software added to a portable communication device." Motorola was issued the patent in 1999 and lists Apple's iPhone 4S as the offending product.


  • U.S. Patent No. 6,377,161, which covers "method and apparatus in a wireless messaging system for facilitating an exchange of address information." Motorola was issued the patent in 2002 and lists Apple's iPhone 4S and iCloud as the offending products.

  • This is the latest spat between the two companies, and comes on the heels of a loss for Apple against Motorola before the International Trade Commission. Earlier this month, the quasi-legislative group released an initial determination in a complaint filed against Motorola by Apple that found Motorola was not violating any of Apple's patents .

Last year, Motorola scored notable wins against Apple in Germany, when a local court there ruled that Apple violated one of the company's patents with its iPhone and iPad 3G line, as well as a separate ruling that said Apple was violating two of Motorola's patents.

Last year, Google announced plans to purchase Motorola for $12.5 billion , a deal that has not yet closed. Foss Patents' Florian Mueller notes that "Google must have authorized" this latest suit given a stipulation in the two companies' merger agreement that requires Google's consent for "any new action" in court.

 

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