Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

New Apple suit targets Motorola over Qualcomm license

A new Apple lawsuit takes aim at Motorola Mobility in the U.S. for breaking a contract both companies have with Qualcomm for the license of one of its wireless patents.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
gavel image

Apple filed a new lawsuit against Motorola Mobility today, targeting the company's patent licensing agreement with Qualcomm.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of California and first reported by Reuters, takes aim at Motorola for being in breach of a licensing agreement both companies have with Qualcomm for the use of the company's wireless patents.

One of the patents mentioned in the suit (PDF) is the same one used by Motorola in its lawsuit against Apple in Germany last month. In this new filing, Apple asks the court to prohibit Motorola from making that claim in its German suit since the patent in question is a standards essential patent for GPRS, with Motorola having made the pledge of offering it under "Frand," or "fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms." (Read our primer on that here.)

"When Apple makes a promise to license its standards essential patents under Frand terms, Apple will not waiver," the suit reads. "Motorola, on the other hand, has pursued an aggressive international campaign of litigation that flies in the face of its promise to license its cellular standards essential patents on Frand terms."

Responding to a request for comment, a Motorola representative said: "While we can't comment on the specific details of pending litigation, we will continue to vigorously protect our intellectual property."

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

This is just the latest legal volley between the two companies. Last month, the U.S. International Trade Commission released an initial determination in a complaint filed against Motorola by Apple that found Motorola was not violating any of Apple's patents.

In 2011, 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 Mobility for $12.5 billion, a deal that has not yet closed but is rumored to be nearing approval.

You can read the full copy of the lawsuit here.

Updated 2:32 p.m. PT with comment from Motorola, and once again at 5:08 p.m. PT with comment from Apple and additional details from the suit.