Motorola sues Apple, claims iPhone 4S and iCloud infringe on its patents

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| Published: January 25, 2012

iPhone 4S

Most of the Apple-related legal news that's come up lately has involved Samsung, including a couple of new lawsuits and a decision by a Dutch court that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn't infringe on an Apple design right. Today we've got another legal combatant entering the fray, though, as it's been revealed that Motorola has brought a new lawsuit against Apple in Florida. In it, Motorola targets both the iPhone 4S and iCloud for alleged patent infringement. There are six patents involved in the suit, all six of which Moto claims are violated by the iPhone 4S, while all except two of them ('987 and '737) are also said to be infringed upon by iCloud. The full list of Motorola patents, courtesy of FOSS Patents, is:

  • U.S. Patent No. 5,710,987 on a "receiver having concealed external antenna"
  • U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119 on a "multiple pager status synchronization system and method"; Motorola is asserting the European equivalent of this patent against Apple in Mannheim, with a decision (that will likely be favorable for Motorola) scheduled for Friday of next week (February 3, 2012)
  • U.S. Patent No. 5,958,006 on a "method and apparatus for communicating summarized data"
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,101,531 on a "system for communicating user-selected criteria filter prepared at wireless client to communication server for filtering data transferred from host to said wireless client"
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,008,737 on an "apparatus for controlling utilization of software added to a portable communication device"
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,377,161 on a "method and apparatus in a wireless messaging system for facilitating an exchange of address information"

Continuing on with the Apple legal news, it seems that the Cupertino firm has appealed an International Trade Commission ruling from last month, when the agency decided that HTC had indeed infringed upon a single Apple patent. At the time, HTC didn't seem too concerned about the ITC's decision, saying that it already had a workaround planned in order to avoid having its offending products banned. Now Apple has appealed the ruling, likely in an attempt to get more patents included in a win and make it more difficult for HTC to avoid a ban.

And just like that, we've got more legal battles on our hands. Interestingly, FOSS Patents believes that, as a result of the pending merger of Motorola and Google, Moto had to get the A-OK from Google before filing this latest suit against Apple. We've yet to actually see Apple and Google go head-to-head in a suit, so if Google did give Moto the green light, this is the closest we've come to seeing the company go up against Apple itself. Getting back to the case itself, there's no word yet on when we can expect to hear more on the matter, but we'll pass along the details as we get them. Stay tuned.

Via Reuters, The Verge, FOSS Patents (1), (2)

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