Google Seeks to Ban Almost Apple's Entire U.S. Product Line
August 21, 2012 4:50 PM
New ITC complaint leverages 8 of Motorola's patents
Apple, Inc. (
) has made it pretty clear that it wants to try to ban all of the top Android phonemakers off the market. Google Inc. (
) 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
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
, 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. (
) earlier in the year.
The new suit targets:
"the new Apple iPad (aka the iPad3)
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.
Google is seeking to ban virtually all Apple's devices [Image Source: Apple]
The lawsuit leverages eight patents:
, "Geographic-Temporal Significant Messaging"
"Apparatus, Method and System for Multimedia Control and Communication"
"Apparatus and Method for Handling Dispatching Messages for Various Applications of a Communication Device"
"Markup Language for Interactive Services And Methods Thereof"
"System For Providing Continuity Between Messaging Clients And Method Therefor"
"Method And Apparatus For Obtaining And Managing Wirelessly Communicated Content"
"System And Method For Managing Content Between Devices In Various Domains"
A couple of quick thoughts on the patents:
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
Google's past attempts to litigate against Apple. In other words, Apple and Google are now fighting on
a level playing field
The patents -- much like Apples -- are often
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.
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 (
) "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.
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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