Round and round the patent lawsuit wheel goes.
Motorola (NYSE:MOT) sued Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for infringing on 18 of its patents, the latest in a string of patent battles between smartphone makers. Motorola alleges Apple's MobileMe service and its App Store violate Motorola patents covering a range of technologies, including wireless email, proximity sensing, application management, location-based services and the ability to sync multiple devices.
Motorola's complaint comes days after Microsoft sued Motorola for violating Microsoft patents.
In addition to filing lawsuits against Apple in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois and in the Southern District of Florida, Motorola lodged a complain with the U.S International Trade Commission. Apple declined to comment on the suits, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Kirk Dailey, a Motorola vice president of intellectual property, told the Journal that Apple "refused to take a license" after a long period of negotiating. "We had no choice but to file these complaints to halt Apple's continued infringement," Dailey said.
Patent lawsuits between technology companies are not new, but a handful of companies have recently picked up the pace in mobile as they seek to use legal maneuvers to compete. Software giant Oracle filed suit against Google in August, alleging that Android infringes on intellectual property related to the Java programming language, acquired by Oracle in April 2009 when it purchased rival Sun Microsystems for about $7.4 billion. Separately, HTC and Microsoft signed a patent licensing deal in April covering HTC's Android handsets that calls for the smartphone vendor to pay Microsoft royalties on the phones. Finally, Apple filed suit against HTC in March, accusing the Taiwanese smartphone maker of infringing on its hardware and software patents for the iPhone. That lawsuit has been seen as an indirect shot at Google.
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