Motorola requests US ban on BlackBerry imports

On the heels of Kodak's complaint against Research In Motion, Motorola filed its own dispute with the BlackBerry maker on Friday. The complaint, filed with the International Trade Commission, alleges RIM is infringing on five Motorola patents. Although RIM once had a license for the technology listed in the dispute, the license expired in December 2007. The two companies have been engaged in a legal dispute since February 2008.

The ITC complaint outlines patents covering Wi-Fi access, user interface technology, and power management. Just last week Kodak issued a complaint against RIM for infringing on its patent for color image previewing. Both Kodak and Motorola are seeking an import ban in the U.S.

Many companies are utilizing the International Trade Commission for disputes, due to the expedited process. Jonathan Meyer, senior VP of intellectual property law at Motorola, stated:

"Through its early-stage development of the cellular industry and billions of dollars spent on research and development, Motorola has created an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio that is respected by the entire telecommunications industry. In light of RIM's continued unlicensed use of Motorola's patents, RIM's use of delay tactics in our current patent litigation, and RIM's refusal to design out Motorola's proprietary technology, Motorola had no choice but to file a complaint with the ITC to halt RIM's continued infringement. Motorola will continue to take all necessary steps to protect its R&D and intellectual property, which are critical to the Company's business."

Meyer goes on to add the ITC typically reviews cases for a month before deciding whether to start an investigation, which could span 14 months.

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13 Comments

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The real issue (for Motorola) is the expected shootout between Droid and the Storm 2 in the US (both carried by VZW). The Storm 2 supports WiFi (and potential tethering), which the Droid lacks; worse, the Storm 2 costs *less* than the Droid. I'm not interested in the Droid because the Storm 2 does everything I would want a smartphone to do without the Droid's higher price. (Both are smartphone, thus both require data plans, so the monthly costs are the same.) While Android has potential, right now, that is *all* it has (even compared to BlackBerry/RIM's App World) in the consumer space, let alone the business/enterprise space.

Good lord! This entire patent issue is out of order, and I hope Motorola does not succeed in getting a ban on BlackBerry sales in the States. After all, the BlackBerry represnts Canadian leadership in wireless technology, and it's too popular among business users for it to be blocked by such a petty affair! :D

MulletRobZ said,
Good lord! This entire patent issue is out of order, and I hope Motorola does not succeed in getting a ban on BlackBerry sales in the States. After all, the BlackBerry represnts Canadian leadership in wireless technology, and it's too popular among business users for it to be blocked by such a petty affair! :D

Its not petty though is it? If it can be proven that they actually didn't pay and do everything right, then why should they be let off because they represent Canadian leadership in wireless technology? That's like letting off Microsoft (which doesn't ever happen) because they are the leader in operating system software.

If you run a business, you run it properly or not at all. Granted however, the patent system is a complete joke and needs sorting out, then none of this will happen.

Arent there supposed to be like a billion patents? Basically on everything?

Not sure how to stop the crashing dominoes now, thats the bigger problem (fixing the patent system...joke?). As for suing sues the suing, idk it is a mess shhh.

Agreed, the patent system does seem like its not very efficient at allowing innovation in this day and age. It was great while it lasted but I think it can learn from the open-source community. That's the way forward, a bit of both I think.

probably patents covering "buttons used to input numbers", "using a battery to power a portable communications device", and "having a graphical indicator of wifi connections" or something as equally stupid.

patents are way to vague and just an all round stupid system that needs to be totally redone.

So Nokia Asks for a Ban against Apples Products, Apple Asks for a ban against Nokias Products, Kodak asks for a ban against blackberry and now Motorola is asking for a ban against blackberry.

That's a lot of clucking. The patent system is messed up. If anything it stops innovation by forcing companies to release worse products using inferior technology just so they can't infringe on other better technology. It's time the rules were adjusted I think.

Completely agree. My grandfather had patents that dealt wtih the development of color film and sound film and Kodak was nice enough to pay for a while but they eventually figured out a way to steal it and left him high and dry.

That's the problem with the patent system. These big corportaions have the resources and legal teams to legally steal anything right in front of your face (if you're the inventor). Their own (non-stolen) patents aren't creative at all. A patent on to read a text file or using a picture to display a status is not creative yet they'll make sure they enforce these ridiculous patents to the tune of millions of dollars. The system is definitely broken.

Tim Dawg said,
The system is definitely broken.

Is there a superior, working system that could be implemented? One that would not remove incentives to produce new technologies? I'm curious to hear some suggestions from Neowinians.