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Apple resurrects patent claim against Google's Motorola

Company asks an appeals court to reinstate a patent-infringement claim involving touch-screen technology.


Apple is attempting to revive a patent-infringement claim against Google's Motorola Mobility unit over touch-screen technology, according to Reuters.

Apple asked a U.S. appeals court to reinstate the claim after the U.S. International Trade Commission had earlier ruled that one of the related patents was invalid and Motorola hadn't infringed on the second patent.

Apple contends that Motorola is copying its technology that allows for transparent screens to sense multiple touches in different locations, allowing users to operate a phone by swiping or tapping the screen. The technology is fundamental to the current generation of smartphones used in virtually every such device.

The case targeted several Motorola smartphones, including the original Droid, Droid X, Cliq, Backflip, and Charm, as well as the Xoom tablet.

The ITC previously ruled that the multitouch technology was similar to a patent filed by Sony, and that Apple didn't have an exclusive claim on touch-screen technology.

Apple argued that Motorola had attempted to come up with similar technology but failed to develop a useful touch screen.

CNET contacted Apple and Motorola for further details and comments, and we'll update the story when they respond.

The ITC has the power to enforce an importation ban on products found to be infringing on patents, essentially stopping them from being sold in the U.S. Companies have used the ITC as a way to gain bargaining power when coming to terms on technology licensing.