Apple expands patent battles against Samsung, Motorola

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has targeted both Samsung and Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) with fresh complaints in the companies' ongoing legal disputes over mobile technology patents, the latest maneuver in battles that have spanned continents and occasionally led to products being pulled from shelves.

In Apple's latest lawsuit against Samsung, filed last week in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., Apple asserts that Samsung's flagship, Android-powered Galaxy Nexus violates Apple's patents. Apple is also seeking to block the sale of other Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S II Skyrocket and Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch.

"Despite that [previous] lawsuit, Samsung has continued to flood the market with copycat products, including at least 18 new infringing products released over the last eight months," Apple said in its newest complaint. "Samsung has systematically copied Apple's innovative technology and products, features, and designs, and has deluged markets with infringing devices in an effort to usurp market share from Apple."

The new lawsuit, set for a hearing May 2, differs from Apple's original lawsuits filed against Samsung in the same court last April in that the new lawsuit focuses on technical aspects of Samsung's software rather than Samsung's overall designs, as the previous suit did. For example, one of the four patents that Apple asserts Samsung is violating is for technology for searching multiple sources of information at once.

Samsung continues to "assert our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple's claims," Samsung spokesman Nam Ki Yung told Bloomberg.

Separately, Apple sued Motorola on Friday in federal court in San Diego, arguing Motorola's patent lawsuit against Apple in Germany should be tossed out because the lawsuit breaches terms of a patent-licensing agreement between Motorola and chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). The new suit alleges that because Apple is a customer of Qualcomm and Motorola licenses its technology to Qualcomm, Apple should be protected from injunctions that rest on those patents. Motorola said it will continue to "protect our intellectual property."

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this separate WSJ article (sub. req.)

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