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New ITC complaint leverages 8 of Motorola's patents

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has made it pretty clear that it wants to try to ban all of the top Android phonemakers off the market.  Google Inc. (GOOG) has vowed to fight back, using the treasure trove of patents from its recent acquisition Motorola Mobility to help protect its partners.  Google was seeking a ban on Apple's iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers to counter a potential Android ban.

Thus far that protection scheme didn't work out so well, as Google-owned Motorola Mobility and Apple had their suits/counter-suits twice tossed from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).  In fact, so far federal courts have proven relatively retiscent to ban products from either side.

So Motorola Mobility's latest legal salvo -- a 50 page complaint [PDF] with 187 exhibits, pertaining to eight patents -- instead hopes to sway the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban imports of Apple's products, an approach that Apple successfully used to ban shipments of top Android phonemaker HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) earlier in the year.

The new suit targets:
  • iPod Touch
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPad2
  • "the new Apple iPad (aka the iPad3)
  • Mac Pro
  • iMac
  • Mac Mini
  • MacBook Pro
  • MacBook Air
It demands satisfaction in the form of a resolution within 15 months and a court-order "excluding entry into the United States of wireless communications devices, portable music and data processing devices, computers, and components thereof that infringe."

As Apple manufacturers all its products outside the U.S., this means, basically, a complete ban of all Apple's products.

Apple products
Google is seeking to ban virtually all Apple's devices [Image Source: Apple]

The lawsuit leverages eight patents:
  • No. 5,883,580, "Geographic-Temporal Significant Messaging"
  • No. 5,922,047 "Apparatus, Method and System for Multimedia Control and Communication"
  • No. 6,425,002 "Apparatus and Method for Handling Dispatching Messages for Various Applications of a Communication Device"
  • No. 6,493,673 "Markup Language for Interactive Services And Methods Thereof"
  • No. 6,983,370 "System For Providing Continuity Between Messaging Clients And Method Therefor"
  • No. 7,007,064 "Method And Apparatus For Obtaining And Managing Wirelessly Communicated Content"
  • No. 7,383,983 "System And Method For Managing Content Between Devices In Various Domains"
A couple of quick thoughts on the patents:
  1. They appear not to be standards patents -- e.g. Motorola Mobility's standard 3G/4G fodder.  This means that they are likely not subject to "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) licensing requirements, something that has plagued Google's past attempts to litigate against Apple.  In other words, Apple and Google are now fighting on a level playing field.
     
  2. The patents -- much like Apples -- are often rather ambiguous/nebulous in terms of describing there invention.  Given the broad descriptions (e.g. the one patent appears to be describing all forms of geo-tagged communication), it may be hard for Apple to escape from being found in infringement, must as Android has struggled to escape Apple's vague and overly broad patents.

WWIII is upon us in the patent world -- the dying Apple co-founder Steven P. Jobs wish for "thermonuclear" legal war has come to fruition.  

Thermonuclear war
Steve Jobs dying wish of "thermonuclear war" with Android has been fully realized.

It's possible that only a handful of products will be banned, but as Apple and Google step up their legal barrages, it's also quite possible that most Android and Apple devices could eventually become subject to a ban -- an outcome that one would expect -- or at least hope -- would lead to a broad cross-licensing pact à la Apple and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) "special arrangement".

One thing's for sure, though.  Google isn't about to roll over and die or let the same happen to its partners.  It is determined to fight Apple's efforts to the bitter end.

Sources: Groklaw [1], [2]



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GO Google
By momorere on 8/21/2012 5:10:04 PM , Rating: 5
It's about time Google jumps in and starts to sue crApple. Hopefully they hand Apple their ass on a silver platter and gives the a HUGE taste of their own medicine.




RE: GO Google
By Schadenfroh on 8/21/2012 5:51:02 PM , Rating: 4
Be careful what you wish for Apple... you are about to get your freaking THERMONUCLEAR WAR .

Maybe from the ashes, patent reform will rise...


RE: GO Google
By retrospooty on 8/21/2012 6:06:52 PM , Rating: 5
LOL... I dont want Apple products banned. Its not any more right than banning Samsung or Google, but in this case, I am glad Google is doing it. If for no other reason than to smack the smug look off Apples face.


"You want to keep me out of Del Boca Vista? I'M COMING TO DEL BOCA VISTA"
- Frank Costanza


RE: GO Google
By Reclaimer77 on 8/21/2012 6:24:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I am glad Google is doing it. If for no other reason than to smack the smug look off Apples face.


Word!


RE: GO Google
By Mitch101 on 8/21/2012 8:04:56 PM , Rating: 5
Word is a Microsoft product lets you and I not go there.


RE: GO Google
By spamreader1 on 8/22/2012 11:55:11 AM , Rating: 3
Make sure you don't put Microsoft directly in front of Word or they'll charge you a nickel.


RE: GO Google
By BifurcatedBoat on 8/22/2012 4:00:11 PM , Rating: 3
I don't either actually. I want Apple to see that this strategy they've been pursuing cuts both ways though, and go back to focusing on their own products instead of on banning someone else's.


RE: GO Google
By DT_Reader on 8/22/2012 4:12:17 PM , Rating: 3
Speak for yourselves. I'd love to see Apple's products banned, if only until they reach an agreement with Google. It would serve them right.

The fact that Apple was able to patent the rectangle is proof enough that our patent system is FUBAR. SNAFU, indeed.


RE: GO Google
By Rukkian on 8/22/2012 5:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree. I hate what Apple is doing, and will never own one, but do not want them banned. I want all the nonsense to just go away. Make the best device at the best price, and let the consumers choose.

If this gets all the bulls@&t to stop (amybe causeing a cross-licensing agreement), then I am all for it.


RE: GO Google
By TSS on 8/21/2012 7:09:20 PM , Rating: 4
I'm just so glad companies aren't allowed to have armies or militias. Could you imagine what would've happened if Google and Apple where mob families instead of tech companies?

I mean for all the failings of the judicial system atleast this stays confined to the judicial system.

Right?

....

If the start of the civil unrest and riots comes from apple products being banned instead of the actual financial crisis i'm seriously going to throw a fit.


RE: GO Google
By Schadenfroh on 8/21/2012 7:49:41 PM , Rating: 3
Since The Patent War is spreading well beyond tablets / phones...

Could you imagine the unrest if Google or Samsung managed to get Xbox Live shutdown to counter Microsoft's patent trolling?

How about if they had to disable broadcasts to all of those Motorola cable boxes that drive Comcast over a patent infringement?


RE: GO Google
By StoveMeister on 8/22/2012 3:03:55 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Since The Patent War is spreading well beyond tablets / phones...


I'm a bit worried for our American friends.
It looks like between Apple, Samsung and Google, you guys may have to get used to dumb phones, while the rest of the world laps up Apple/Android's assorted goodness.

Since Apple has managed to win the patent suits they have been won to date over there, there is every chance this suit will also succeed. And the likelihood of reform of patent laws (when lawyers write the laws and lobby for them) is pretty damn slim.

The world may, yet again, be divided along lines of "have" vs "have-not". But America may end up on the have-not side for a change


RE: GO Google
By retrospooty on 8/22/2012 7:42:01 AM , Rating: 3
Thats a bit sensationalistic. The worst that would happen is a short term ban while ROM release is made that infringes the patents in question. Even that is highly unlikely. Most of this crap will get dismissed.


RE: GO Google
By retrospooty on 8/22/2012 7:43:29 AM , Rating: 2
"while ROM release is made that changes the funtcion that infringes the patents in question.

grrr, no edit.


RE: GO Google
By StoveMeister on 8/23/2012 2:30:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thats a bit sensationalistic. <snip> Most of this crap will get dismissed.


I'd like to agree with you, but haven't seen a lot of common-sense in the way patent law is operated in the USA.
These patents seem on the face of it to have at least as much validity as the ones Apple has been wielding in their lawsuits.
For Apple to put out a ROM that doesn't infringe may be challenging. At first glance it looks as if at least Siri and Facetime would bite the dust, and that's before looking too deep


RE: GO Google
By deathwombat on 8/22/2012 11:20:51 AM , Rating: 3
Two companies, both alike in dignity,
In fair Cupertino, where we lay our scene,
From patent grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil litigation makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd tablets take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parent companies' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd lawsuits,
And the continuance of the patent holders' rage,
Which, but their products banned, nought could remove,
Is now the two years' traffic of our courts;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.


RE: GO Google
By crazy1 on 8/22/2012 8:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm just so glad companies aren't allowed to have armies or militias. Could you imagine what would've happened if Google and Apple where mob families instead of tech companies?


I'm not sure I could imagine Google as a Mob family. They generally practice good business ethics. Their products may not always receive a lot of popularity, but their business ethics are top notch. They even pay more taxes than most billion dollar companies. Doesn't sound very Mafia like.

Apple on the other hand has some of the worst ethics of any other large American tech company. Between the Foxconn suicides, price setting on songs and books, "Buying Out" some of the latest and greatest components just so no other companies can use them, and starting a patent war even though Apple was founded on stolen technology. Apple could definitely be a mafia.

IBM must be looking at this patent war like a disappointed parent.


RE: GO Google
By sorry dog on 8/23/2012 12:05:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
IBM must be looking at this patent war like a disappointed parent.


More like envy...

...from what my elders have told me, IBM was tech Cartel in the 60's and 70's, and often played unfairly with customers and competitors.

...but like most companies that hold on to their monopoly conceptions too long in face of innovation, they were destined to fall.

Apple's recent behavior reeks of fear to be destined to the same fate.


RE: GO Google
By Tony Swash on 8/22/12, Rating: -1
RE: GO Google
By karlostomy on 8/22/2012 7:46:35 AM , Rating: 5
^^^
sad troll.


RE: GO Google
By SlyNine on 8/25/2012 12:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know who your talking about? -1 who is that? I can't see any of his text ever, why is that? Weird

People, just stop arguing with trolls. They feed on that even tho they know they are wrong.


RE: GO Google
By mocyd on 8/22/2012 1:52:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
This suite will probably fail as Googrola are using weaker patents


Based on what? Your own supposition/bias? On initial overview these patents look to be at least as strong as the patents Apple sued over. It's entirely possible (and probable, based on initial overview) that Google lawyers found patents that in Motorola's portfolio that Motorola overlooked. These methods look exactly like functionality that the iPhone has, especially 5,922,047.

quote:
Meanwhile Apple have already won.


Yeah, Apple has had success on the tablet side. Kudos to them.

On the cell phone side, Samsung is trouncing them. Samsung won without the courtroom with innovative product design and good market penetration.

But your point is still not relevant to the patents that are being brought up here. You're talking about Apple's case against Samsung rather than the validity Google's newly acquired IP in the case against Apple.

quote:
it is now clear that the iPad..... have driven Microsoft into the insanity of attacking their own user base


Wow, even less relevant to the topic at hand- we're talking about Microsoft, a company not even involved in the suits/patents mentioned here.

Weren't you talking about grasping straws earlier?


RE: GO Google
By Adam M on 8/21/2012 6:35:57 PM , Rating: 5
I would normally say something to the effect of "nobody wins when patent trolls go to war", but in this case I am very much behind Google. Why not fight fire with fire? SteveO wanted nuclear war; lets see how his ghost reacts to an all out Apple ban?
Do I think a ban will happen? No, but what is good for the goose is certainly good for the gander.


RE: GO Google
By Tony Swash on 8/22/12, Rating: -1
RE: GO Google
By elleehswon on 8/22/2012 8:52:30 AM , Rating: 3
because we all know that wikipedia is the canonical source for accurate information...................sigh.


RE: GO Google
By theslug on 8/22/2012 12:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
You're joking right? Everything in that article (and elsewhere on wikipedia) is shown with a small number that links to an external site where the info is pulled from. Is there something in particular on that page you believe is false? If so, I invite you to look at the corresponding link so you can verify whether or not the info is correct, before incorrectly and ignorantly assuming that it's wrong, for no reason other than because it's wikipedia.


RE: GO Google
By Tony Swash on 8/22/12, Rating: -1
RE: GO Google
By retrospooty on 8/22/2012 1:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
Why Tony? Why must you distort facts like this?

It's a well known fact that Apple was preparing to sue. They were vocal about it. Motorola, Google, Samsung, everyone was aware of it. This was done in retaliation to Apple's claims and everyone knows it. The actual date it was files only shows who's lawyers got the case filed the fastest.

Whatever though, your reality is fully distorted enough to actually think Apple is right in this and all matters so its pointless to debate anything with you.


RE: GO Google
By momorere on 8/22/2012 1:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
Wikipedia is 1000x more reliable and trusted than 99.9% of the links you provide as "facts" when it comes to anything crApple. No one really cares who "started" it. We only care that crApple goes down for trying to dictate all things electronic.


RE: GO Google
By mocyd on 8/22/2012 1:37:55 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
that Googlerola started the patent war with Apple - can somehow be dismissed.


Oh come now, Tony, Googlerola started the patent war? Motorola started it my friend. Even if you can pretend that Apple wasn't telling the world that it was going to sue every Android maker on the planet prior to Motorola's suit, it's still an utter fabrication to say "Googlerola" started it. Be factual. Motorola started it. Google stepped in to salvage Motorola's IP and put it to good use.


RE: GO Google
By Iaiken on 8/22/2012 4:31:15 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I notice you don't actually challenge any of the material on the Wikipedia page in question merely imply that it is somehow false and therefore the unpalatable truth - that Googlerola started the patent war with Apple - can somehow be dismissed.


Except you conveniently forget to look into why Motorola was going to court with Apple and where they filed. By the time Motorola sued Apple, Apple was already suing Nokia, HTC, and had tilted it's hand in hinting that they were preparing to sue Samsung and Motorola via preliminary filings in several international courts (Australia, Germany, Netherlands, etc).

Rather than let Apple drag them to a jurisdiction that is friendly towards patent plaintiffs (California, Texas, or Florida), Motorola decided to drag Apple to a jurisdiction that is just flat out unfriendly towards both parties with regards to patent lawsuits (US District Court in Illinois). The objective became forcing Apple into counter-suing in a jurisdiction where their chances of winning was slim to none.

Motorola had no real intention of winning; victory would ultimately be defined by successfully forcing Apple into an environment where they would almost certainly both lose their respective cases. Anything short of Motorola losing their case and Apple winning their counter-suit constituted a victory for Motorola since they would then be free to operate without Apple breathing down their neck or blocking their products from the market. This happened when Posner threw the case out with prejudice so that neither party could re-file and any appeal would have to be elevated to the supreme court (which has better things to do than negotiate trade agreements).


RE: GO Google
By SlyNine on 8/25/2012 12:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
Who are you replying to? All I see is a name and a -1 next to it?


RE: GO Google
By michael2k on 8/21/2012 8:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't it be funny if this:
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=25472

resulted in Apple getting around the import ban?

Also, if Foxconn opened up a manufacturing facility in, say, Arkansas, to assemble all these imported components?


RE: GO Google
By sorry dog on 8/23/2012 11:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
If they were to actually do such a thing, then their unrealistic pricing would have more merit, and my opinion of them would rise.

...However the chances of them doing something good for their country and losing out on $10 of profit per phone seems somewhere between slim and none given the current state of the short sighted greed driven decision making that defines corporate America today.


RE: GO Google
By masamasa on 8/21/2012 10:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
Go Google!!! Sick of Apple's IP theft.


RE: GO Google
By Mike Acker on 8/22/2012 7:42:06 AM , Rating: 2
go GOOGLE
get them rotten apples


RE: GO Google
By BSMonitor on 8/22/2012 3:07:22 PM , Rating: 1
Except that Apple's gripe is 100% more legit.. How many Androids would be about the world if it were this:

http://www.redmondpie.com/the-original-google-phon...


RE: GO Google
By Shadowmaster625 on 8/28/2012 9:53:34 AM , Rating: 2
Instead of worshipping one behemoth bastion of fascism and scorning another, you should place your focus on how these corporations infest and infect all branches of government. Neither judge nor jury is immune. Especially if the jury owns stock in one company in court but not the other.


"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay














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