Editor in Chief
- Jan 5, 2011
It's been a long time coming, but Google has finally joined the patent wars fray against Apple. A new report from Bloomberg shared that Google, using patents from the recently acquired Motorola Mobility, filed a patent infringement case with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple. The infringement lawsuit claims that Apple violates seven Motorola Mobility patents, including location reminders, e-mail notification, phone/video players. The extent of these patents encompass many features used in the iPhone including Apple's new Siri voice-recognition program.
Furthermore, Google isn't just posturing with this case, and are looking for the harshest penalties against Apple. Google requested that the ITC impose an import ban on almost all of Apple's devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. Google said the following in an emailed statement, “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 Mobility said in an e-mailed statement.
According to this report, Motorola has actively been trying to work with Apple on a cross-licensing settlement of some kind, but Apple has been recalcitrant. Of course, as you might know already, this isn't the first patent fight between Apple and Motorola. Since 2010, Apple has been locked in a legal fight with Motorola, although Apple already lost that fight. Here's a quote with some additional details,
Companies that help develop standards to let electronics work together pledge to license patents covering those standards on fair and reasonable terms. Apple contends that issues over what is fair should be resolved in a federal district court, since the ITC doesn’t have the power to award damages.
Motorola Mobility said Apple has refused to negotiate a license and that Apple’s argument is merely a way to avoid punishment for infringing another company’s patents.
Apple filed its own patent-infringement case against Motorola Mobility at the Washington agency. The commission in March upheld a judge’s determination that the handset manufacturer wasn’t infringing one Apple patent and that two other patents were invalid. Apple is appealing that decision.
Additionally, Motorola previously secured another victory against Apple. In April, a trade judge ruled that Apple infringed one of four Motorola Mobility patents, over the way computers transmit signals through Wi-Fi. These findings are currently being reviewed and the final decision is expected on Aug. 24.
Now that Google owns Motorola Mobility, they can challenge Apple directly in court. It appeared Apple was avoiding a direct fight with Google for some time, but would instead go after OEMs that produced Android prodcuts. Perhaps, Apple saw them as weaker targets. It's about time we see Google wade into this battle with sword drawn, and force Apple's hand. Now the fight will be on more equal terms. What do you guys think will happen?