Google’s Motorola Mobility unit is seeking a ban on US imports of Apple devices, claiming certain features on these gadgets infringe its patents.
As per a report in Bloomberg, Motorola Mobility claims Apple’s products infringe seven of its patents on features including location reminders, e-mail notification and phone/ video players. Motorola has filed a complaint at the United States International Trade Commission seeking a ban on US imports of devices including the iPhone, iPad and Apple computers. Since Apple products are made in China, US sales are technically imports from China.
Apple was reportedly in talks with Motorola Mobility for licensing its patents, but later pulled out stating the latter’s “unreasonable demands”. Since then, both companies have accused each other of infringing the other party’s patents.
“We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations,” Motorola Mobility told Bloomberg in an e-mailed statement.
Motorola had earlier filed a complaint against Apple, saying the iPhone infringes 4 of its Wi-Fi related patents. The commission had ruled that Apple had indeed infringed one of those patents, and reserved its final decision until August 24. If the commission rules in favour of Motorola, the iPhone could face an import ban as early as next week.
As per patents expert Florian Mueller, “Even if Motorola won an import ban next week, it would not affect the iPhone 4S and the new iPad 4G, nor the widely-anticipated iPhone 5″.
Apple’s own case against Motorola Mobility arguing that the company infringed three of its patents didn’t fare any better. A judge ruled that Motorola did not infringe one of those patents, while dismissing the other two patents as invalid. The United States International Trade Commission later upheld the judge’s decision.