Motorola sues Apple over patents

Motorola has called for a ban on imports of Apple devices into the US, claiming several of the firm’s products infringe its patents.

Lawsuits filed by subsidiary Motorola Mobility in the US yesterday allege Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iTouch and some Mac computers illegally use 18 Motorola patents, and requested the International Trade Commission ban further imports of disputed devices.

It has also requested the ITC ban the sale of devices already imported, and the cessation of marketing activities.

A second lawsuit, filed with a US district court, requests that Apple stop using the disputed patents and compensates Motorola for past infringements.

The vendor says Apple infringes patents covering WCDMA, GPRS and 802.11 technologies, along with antenna design and key smartphone technologies including wireless e-mail, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.

Kirk Dailey, the man responsible for intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, says the lawsuits were a last resort after lengthy negotiations with Apple bore no fruit.

“Apple has refused to take a license. We had no choice but to file these complaints to halt Apple’s continued infringements,” Dailey said.

Apple had no spokespeople available to comment at the time of going to press.

Motorola’s move comes just a few days after it was sued by Microsoft, and amid a growing number of legal disputes over smartphone technology.