It seemed like 2011 was the year of lawsuits both for and against Apple however 2012 is looking to be no different. In a fresh wave of legal attacks against Apple from its restless competitors, it’s now Motorola that is suing the Cupertino-based company on 6 counts of patent infringement in a Florida-based court.
According to the resubmitted claim filed by Motorola (the original claim was filed back in October of last year for 18 counts of copyright infringement), in which Motorola claims that they have “suffered irreparable harm and will continue to do so”, Apple have infringed 6 of their US-filed patents, specifically:
- U.S. Patent No. 5,710,987: Receiver having concealed external antenna
- U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119: Multiple pager status synchronisation system and method
- U.S. Patent No. 5,958,006: Method and apparatus for communicating summarised data
- U.S. Patent No. 6,008,737: Apparatus for controlling utilisation of software added to a portable communication device
- U.S. Patent No. 6,101,531: System for communicating user-selected criteria filter prepared at wireless client to communication server for filtering data transferred from host to said wireless client
- U.S. Patent No. 6,377,161: Method and apparatus in a wireless messaging system for facilitating an exchange of address information.
This recent action on Motorola’s behalf has been brought about due to the fact that the court in Florida originally conceded not to extend the original complaint to the 6 patents named above. Motorola’s filing is targeted specifically towards two of Apple’s products: the iPhone and the iCloud service, released in October of last year along with iOS 5.
An Action with Google’s Blessing
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, Google specifically gave permission for Motorola Mobility to file this new lawsuit against Apple after an analysis of the two companies takeover agreement, in which Google plans to purchase the struggling mobile manufacturer for an estimated $12.5 billion. Part of the takeover agreement includes a clause which states that Motorola Mobility cannot instigate any new lawsuits over intellectual property (i.e. exclusive rights) without prior approval from the “parent” company – which is Google of course.
Motorola also has pending litigation in the European Union (specifically in Mannheim, Germany) against Apple for the European patent equivalent to U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119, with a decision due next Friday. And it’s not only them that are having a legal spat with Apple. Samsung and HTC are also involved in similar lawsuits, again mostly due to copyright infringement. Back in August last year, Apple accused Samsung of copying the physical design of the iPad 2 for their new tablet device, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The accusation even caused the temporary banning of select Samsung products in the European Union and in Australia, until the ban was uplifted owing to suspect evidence.
We’ll keep you up-to-date with this story as things progress. For more information, head over to Florian Müller’s (an independent patents analyst) blog, Foss Patents.
In the meantime, feel free to share your comments about what you think about this lawsuit. Is Motorola taking it too far? Or are they just upholding their creative assertion? All comments, views and thoughts are most welcome.