Motorola Sues Apple Over Mobile Patents

Motorola hit Apple with two patent lawsuits on Wednesday alleging the wireless used in the Mac, iPhone, and iPod touch violate 18 different patents it owns. The company also filed a complaint against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission in hopes of blocking the import of any Apple products that infringe on Motorola patents.

According to Motorola’s filings, Apple’s 802.11 Wi-Fi antenna designs, use of Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) technologies, GPRS technologies, proximity sensing, location based services, application management, synchronization, application management, and wireless email implementations all violate its patents. Motorola also claimed that the patent violations include the App Store and MobileMe, not just Apple’s hardware products.

The two companies were involved in “lengthy negotiations,” according to Motorola, ahead of the lawsuits but Apple wouldn’t agree to pay any licensing fees. The number of patents in Motorola’s portfolio is fairly long, too.

“We have extensively licensed our industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, consisting of tens of thousands of patents in the U.S. and worldwide,” commented Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property for Motorola Mobility.

As part of its lawsuits, Motorola is asking the court to block Apple from using its patented technology and to force Apple to pay for compensation for the patents it claims were used without proper licensing.

“After Apple’s late entry into the telecommunications market, we engaged in lengthy negotiations, but Apple has refused to take a license,” Mr. Daily said. “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.”

Apple has not commented on the pending litigation.