Motorola has recently filed a new complaint against Apple seeking a ban on products in the U.S. due to patent infringement. As if the Samsung vs Apple case weren’t enough, now this case is starting to generate significant buzz. New details have surfaced, with the ITC posting a copy of the full complaint online.
The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission last Friday, seeks an import ban on Apple products that include the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac computers. TechCrunch has offered a summary of the lawsuit’s salient points, which focus on these seven patents:
- 5,883,580: Patent relates to processing messages in the context of space and time. Motorola says Apple’s location-reminders infringe upon this patent.
- 5,922,047: Patent relates to communications and control systems for multimedia, particularly “control over a plurality of media applications including telephony, video conferencing, analog video, digital video, and AC power line signaling …” Motorola says the iPhone and iPad infringe on this patent.
- 6,425,002: Patent is for communications devices, ensuring apps installed only receive messages of interest.
- 6,983,370: This patent relates to continuity between messaging client, particularly the ability to sync messaging capabilities of multiple devices. Motorola says all Apple devices infringe on this patent, except the iPod and Apple TV.
- 6,493,673: Patent is for communications devices that are capable of providing interactive services. This involves a prompt, input mechanism and converting audible user input into a text string.
- 7,007,064: Patent discloses an “apparatus and method for obtaining and managing wirelessly communicated content.”
- 7,383,983: Patent is for managing content between devices in various domains. The patent also relates to “pausing content in one device and resuming playback of the content in another device.”
Motorola has filed the patent complaint with the ITC, claiming that Apple has outright refused to negotiate licensing terms for these technologies. What makes this filing a big deal, is that if the ITC sides with Motorola (and essentially Google) in this case, the trade commission could enforce an import ban on Apple products, which would virtually ban all Apple devices manufactured in its facilities in China and elsewhere.
It has been argued that perhaps Apple would opt instead to produce its goods on American soil, given that it can accommodate and handle additional costs with it’s hefty profit margin. Ultimately this would result in reduced earning for the company. This information could even lead to bigger issues for Apple however. As of just yesterday, August 20, Apple became the most valuable company of all time (according to Wall Street and the company’s net worth). Yet if their product line is banned, stock prices are sure to drop quickly and the release of the iPhone 5 could suffer from this as well.
At this point, however what is effectively an Apple vs. Android patent war is likely to lead to a review of the patent system, given how overall the tech lawsuits are only hurting the innovation process industry wise.