This time, Motorola sues Apple over patents

The handset maker says Apple, a "late entry into the telecommunications market," violated 18 of its patents to make the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and some Macs.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

Motorola, one of the major telephone handset makers, has accused Apple in a lawsuit of violating 18 patents.

In an announcement on Motorola's site, the company said that Apple incorporated in the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and certain Mac computers, or in associated services, technnology that was developed by Motorola.

The technologies that Motorola execs say are theirs involve "wireless communication technologies, such as WCDMA (3G), GPRS, 802.11 and antenna design, and key smartphone technologies including wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization."

Motorola said that it has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate Apple and wants Apple to stop selling the allegedly infringing products. Lawsuits were filed in the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida.

"After Apple's late entry into the telecommunications market, we engaged in lengthy negotiations, said Kirk Dailey, Motorola Mobile's vice president of intellectual property. "But Apple has refused to take a license. We had no choice but to file these complaints to halt Apple's continued infringement."

Are patent attorneys offering cut-rate deals? A number of patent suits have been filed in recent weeks, including a complaint by Microsoft against Motorola related to Motorola's Android smartphones. Companies such as Google and Apple are relative newcomers to the mobile phone market and it appears they are putting heat on some of the older players, such as Motorola and Microsoft, to take the turf fight to court.

Some of the other patent cases filed recently include Oracle's suit against Google over Android and a fight between HTC and Apple. Last week, meanwhile, Apple said it plans to fight a jury verdict that calls for it to pay about $625 million to Mirror Worlds, which created the technology that was the basis for such Apple offerings as Cover Flow, the software Apple uses to display MP3 cover art.

Apple and Nokia, too, are duking it out in court over iPhone-related technologies.