08 October 2010

Motorola Bites Apple for Infringement of Smartphone Patents

Not to be outdone by the high-profile spat between Oracle and Google (see our prior articles here and here), Motorola Mobility, Inc has filed not one, nor even two or three, but four separate complaints against Apple, Inc, alleging infringement of a total of 18 Motorola patents by various Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod, MacBook, iMac and Mac products.

Two of the complaints have been filed in the US District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, one in the US District Court in the Southern District of Florida, and one with the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Motorola announced its actions in a media release dated 6 October 2010, quoting Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, as saying:

Motorola has innovated and patented throughout every cycle of the telecommunications industry evolution, from Motorola’s invention of the cell phone to its development of premier smartphone products.  We have extensively licensed our industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, consisting of tens of thousands of patents in the U.S. and worldwide.  After Apple’s late entry into the telecommunications market, we engaged in lengthy negotiations, but Apple has refused to take a license.  We had no choice but to file these complaints to halt Apple’s continued infringement.  Motorola will continue to take all necessary steps to protect its R&D and intellectual property, which are critical to the company’s business.
The media release further states that:

The Motorola patents include 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.

The patents identified in the first Illinois complaint are:
  1. US 5,311,516, entitled “Paging System Using Message Fragmentation to Redistribute Traffic”;
  2. US 5,319,712, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Providing Cryptographic Protection of Data Stream in a Communication System”;
  3. US 5,490,230, entitled “Digital Speech Coder Having Optimized Signal Energy Parameters”;
  4. US 5,572,193, entitled “Method for Authentication and Protection of Subscribers in Telecommunications Systems”;
  5. US 6,175,559, entitled “Method for Generating Preamble Sequences in a Code Division Multiple Access System”; and
  6. US 6,359,898, entitled “Method for Performing a Countdown Function During a Mobile-Originated Transfer for a Packet Radio System”.
The patents identified in the second Illinois complaint, and in the ITC complaint, are:
  1. US 5,359,317, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Selectively Storing a Portion of a Received Message in a Selective Call Receiver”;
  2. US 5,636,223, entitled “Methods of Adaptive Channel Access Attempts”;
  3. US 6,246,697, entitled “Method and System for Generating a Complex Pseudonoise Sequence for Processing a Code Division Multiple Access Signal”;
  4. US 6,246,862, entitled “Sensor Controlled User Interface for Portable Communication Device”;
  5. US 6,272,333, entitled “Method and Apparatus in a Wireless Communication System for Controlling a Delivery of Data”; and
  6. US 7,751,826, entitled “System and Method for E911 Location Privacy Protection”.
The patents identified in the Florida complaint are:
  1. US 5,710,987, entitled “Receiver having concealed external antenna”;
  2. US 5,754,119, entitled “Multiple pager status synchronization system and method”;
  3. US 5,958,006, entitled “Method and apparatus for communicating summarized data”;
  4. US 6,008,737, entitled “Apparatus for controlling utilization of software added to a portable communication device”;
  5. US 6,101,531, entitled “System for communicating user-selected criteria filter prepared at wireless client to communication server for filtering data transferred from host to said wireless client”; and
  6. US 6,377,161, entitled “Method and apparatus in a wireless messaging system for facilitating an exchange of address information”.

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