As one legal battle draws to a close, Apple has another on the horizon as Google-owned Motorola filed a patent infringement case against the tech giant Friday.
Motorola alleges certain Apple features infringe on seven of its patents, including location reminders, e-mail notifications and phone/video players. Siri – Apple’s voice recognition program – reportedly violates one of Motorola’s patents.
“We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations,” Motorola said in an e-mailed statement.
The case, filed with the country’s International Trade Commission, is two years in the making.
Similar to what happened with Samsung, though reversed, Motorola turned litigious once licensing talks with Apple fell apart in 2010.
Not a company to take accusations lightly, Apple’s response to Motorola’s claims is that the latter’s handsets – and countless other devices that run Google’s Android OS – infringe on patents Apple holds for the iPhone.
The bigger picture
The ITC case is just the latest development in Motorola’s (and, by proxy, Google’s) war with Apple.
In April, a trade judge found Apple guilty of infringing on one of four Motorola patents. Before that, Apple filed its own suit against Motorola, alleging it infringed on three of its patents.
In a decision Apple is currently appealing, the ITC ruled against them, saying Motorola didn’t infringe on one and ruling the other two invalid.
A ruling on this current case is expected August 24 and, if Motorola gets what it wants, could lead to an iOS device import ban.
An ITC ban is questionable, Apple maintains, as it argues the commission doesn’t have the power to award damages, but if it can indeed ban Apple product imports, the event could seriously impact sales of the iPhone 5, which we expect to see revealed during an Apple event September 12.