Motorola sues Apple over patent infringement

Motorola, one of the major telephone handset makers, has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission accusing Apple of violating 18 patents. In an announcement on the Motorola website, the company said that Apple included technology in the iPhone, iPod Touch, and certain Mac computers that was developed by Motorola.

Motorola claims that it attempted to license technology to Apple, and engaged in "lengthy negotiations" with the iPhone maker, but a deal could not be reached. The company alleged that Apple "refused" to pay for a license.

The complaint was filed against Apple in two U.S. districts: the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida. It covers technologies such as wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.

"Motorola has innovated and patented throughout every cycle of the telecommunications industry evolution, from Motorola's invention of the cell phone to its development of premier smartphone products," said Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property with Motorola Mobility. "We have extensively licensed our industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, consisting of tens of thousands of patents in the U.S. and worldwide.

"Apple's late entry into the telecommunications market, we engaged in lengthy negotiations, but Apple has refused to take a license. We had no choice but to file these complaints to halt Apple'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."

Motorola's lawsuit is just the latest in a long list of complaints involving smartphones before the International Trade Commission. For those keeping score at home, Microsoft sued Motorola last week, Oracle sued Google over Android, and HTC and Apple fought it out over patents.

 The Gaurdian has created a visual representation of the current lawsuits in the mobile industry

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