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Google-Motorola acquisition may not affect ongoing Apple lawsuits


Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility won’t Motorola’s patent-related lawsuits against Apple, as the search company revealed on Monday it has no plans to rescind those legal complaints, reports “AppleInsider” (

Motorola will continue to operate as a separate entity under Google, building handsets running Android as it has done before, the article adds. And the company will also continue to pursue any litigation it is involved in, Google Chief Legal Officer David C. Drummond said in a conference call.

“Those lawsuits will continue and will be managed by Motorola as they are now…” Drummond said. “I don’t believe there’s anything more to add.”

Last week it was announced that Apple is also suing Motorola in Europe over the Xoom tablet’s design, reports “FOSS Patents” (

Prior to or simultaneously with the motion for a preliminary injunction against Samsung over its Galaxy Tab design, Apple also filed a complaint with the same court over the design of the Xoom, the article notes. That passage says that Apple filed with the same court (district court of Düsseldorf) a complaint over the design of the Motorola Xoom, but it doesn’t state whether that complaint included a request for a preliminary injunction.

There are now 42 patents involved in the ongoing legal brouhaha between Apple and Motorola. Applealleges that Motorola infringes 24 of its patents (21 of them with Android-based phones, the remaining 3 with set-top boxes and DVRs), while Motorola previously asserted 18 patents against a variety of Apple products (mostly but not exclusively iPhone, iPad and iPod).

Litigation between the two companies takes place in several different federal courts — primarily the Western District of Wisconsin and the Southern District of Florida — as well as before the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the article adds. Apple’s patent claims against Motorola will be reviewed by the ITC, which could issue an order banning Motorola phones from the U.S. The ITC will determine if Motorola is infringing Apple patents and whether it should rule to block U.S. imports of Motorola phones made overseas that run on Google’s Android operating system.

In November 2010 Apple sued Motorola, alleging that the company’s smartphone lineup and the operating software it uses infringe on the iPhone-maker’s intellectual property. The two lawsuits came after Motorola sued Apple in October 2010 for patent infringement. Motorola claims that Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and certain Mac computers infringe Motorola patents.

Overall, Motorola Mobility’s three complaints include 18 patents, which the company says relates to early-stage innovations developed by Motorola in technology areas found on many of Apple’s core products and associated services, including MobileMe and the Apple App Store. 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.

Motorola Mobility has also requested that the ITC start an investigation into Apple’s use of Motorola’s patents and, among other things, issue an Exclusion Order barring Apple’s importation of “infringing” products, prohibiting further sales of infringing products that have already been imported, and halting the marketing, advertising, demonstration and warehousing of inventory for distribution and use of such imported products in the United States. In the District Court actions, Motorola Mobility has requested that Apple cease using Motorola’s patented technology and provide compensation for Apple’s past infringement.

— Dennis Sellers

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