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Google's Motorola files patent complaint against Apple

Motorola Mobility has filed a patent infringement suit against Apple that seeks an import ban of major Apple products.

The paperwork was filed by Motorola, acquired by Google earlier this year, with the International Trade Commission at the end of last week and was posted online today.

The suit cites infringement of seven patents, including Siri voice recognition, location reminders, e-mail notification, and phone/video players, according to Motorola.

While Motorola has in the past sued Apple for patent infringement, this is the first one filed since Google officially took ownership of Motorola in May.

It’s just the latest in a widening war of patent suits, and signals that Google is ready to get tough with its new patent portfolio in Motorola.

Google could be trying to change the momentum in a battle that until now made Google’s Android look more vulnerable than Apple’s iOS platform.

This is due to the fact that Google’s Android system is so young and has little patent defence against other players.

Motorola’s 17,000 patents were the main reason Google chose to acquire the company.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that none of the patents asserted by Motorola in this newest claim is a “standards-essential” patent, which could help Motorola’s case for the ban, if the court finds that infringement did happen.

Patents considered standards-essential are ones that courts consider so basically necessary for a given industry that patent-holding companies are required to license them at fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory prices.

However, if patents are not standards-essential, courts don’t require holding companies to license them.

“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 said in a statement.

In a previous case with Motorola, Apple has argued that Motorola’s licensing fee demands are unreasonable. 

In that case, the ITC ruled that Apple had infringed on one of the four patents asserted by Motorola, and is due to make a final decision this week.

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