Sun, Aug 19, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Google’s Motorola files new case against Apple at ITC


Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit said it filed a new patent-infringement case against Apple Inc claiming that features on some Apple devices, including the Siri voice-recognition program, infringe its patents.

The complaint at the US International Trade Commission (ITC) claims infringement of seven Motorola Mobility patents on features including location reminders, e-mail notification and phone/video players, Motorola Mobility said on Friday. The case seeks a ban on US imports of devices including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. Apple’s products are made in Asia.

Motorola Mobility and Apple have been fighting since 2010 after licensing talks failed. Apple has said Motorola Mobility is making unreasonable demands, and argues that phones made by Motorola Mobility and other handset manufacturers that run on Google’s Android operating system are copying key patented features of the iPhone.

The complaint is the second that Libertyville, Illinois- based Motorola Mobility has filed at the agency against Apple. A copy of the new complaint was not immediately available. The commission is scheduled to announce a final decision Aug. 24 in the earlier case, and could impose an import ban on the iPhone.

The dispute is part of a broader battle for share in a smartphone market that Bloomberg Industries said rose by 62 percent to US$219 billion last year. Apple, which made one-third of the smartphones sold in the US last quarter, is in the midst of a patent-infringement trial in federal court in California with its biggest rival, Samsung Electronics Co.

Android, which is distributed by Mountain View, California- based Google, is the most popular platform for smartphones. Google bought Motorola Mobility in May.

A trade judge in April said Apple infringed one of four Motorola Mobility patents in the first case. The patent covers a way computers transmit signals through Wi-Fi. The full commission is reviewing those findings and is scheduled to release its final decision on Aug. 24.

A key issue in that case is whether the agency, which is designed to protect US markets from unfair trade practices, should issue import bans on products found to infringe patents on technology used in industry standards.

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