Saturday, 18 August 2012 10:36

Motorola Files New Complaint Against Apple With The ITC, Asks For Import Ban On Apple Products

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Apple is facing a new legal threat and they have not even gotten out of the one they are in with rival Samsung. The new suit, which has been filed by Google-owned Motorola Mobility, will sound very familiar. Moto claims that Apple has been using their patented technology in the iPhone, iPad and other product without paying for it. Just as with Samsung, Moto claims that they approached Apple about these but Apple rejected the terms and has gone on using the patents in their products since.

Motorola is asking for an import ban on the alleged infringing products (we do not agree with ANY requests for product bans as they only hurt the consumer).  As Apple’s products are made in factories outside the US it is fairly simple to stop them coming into the US if this request is granted (just as HTC about that). The timing of the suit is borderline brilliant though with the Samsung V Apple trial wrapping up and a good deal of evidence that Apple might have not only infringed on Samsung’s patents, but that they also refused Samsung’s original offers to license the patents in the first place. On top of that Apple is expected to unveil their new iPhone and possibly an iPad Mini in September ahead of the launch of Windows 8. A ban at this time would have a massive impact on that launch and to a lesser degree the upturn that Apple’s stock it taking.

What makes this complaint even more dangerous for Apple is that this is the second complaint against Apple filed by Motorola with the International Trade Commission. In April of this year a trade judge found that Apple did indeed infringe one out of a claimed four patents that Motorola owns. This patent was related to transmitting a signal through WiFi. The victory still has to be reviewed by the full commission though before it is final. The final judgment is scheduled to be heard on August 24th.

In retaliation Apple filed a counter suit against Motorola, but that did not turn out well. Two of the patents were found to be invalid and Motorola was not infringing the third. Apple is, of course, appealing this decision.

One thing that is interesting is that Apple continually claims that its refusal to pay the asked for licensing is because Motorola and Samsung were asking too much. They feel that both companies are not being fair to Apple and this gives them the right to avoid paying anything. Samsung and Motorola argue that this is only a way for Apple to get out of paying for the use of other people’s technology. In the real world, if you take something and do not pay for it that is called stealing. It is what Apple usually accuses others of doing. It seems they feel that they do not have to pay for the technology they use but can ask for large sums for their own patents. Now we agree that Apple does not have to license their patents, but will maintain that their claimed patents are invalid. Even a simple search will find that Apple did not do their job citing prior art in their filings for these devices. There is also ample proof that they were exposed to many of the key technologies long before they filed for the patents they are using to block competition.

On the other hand Apple has never argued the validity of the patents that Samsung and Motorola own. They have only tried to get out of paying for them. In the case of Samsung they wanted to pay $0.10 per phone for a patent that is at the core of the iPhone. Trust us when we say that Apple is the one being unreasonable and unfair at this point. They have a long history of borrowing others technology, giving it a little polish and selling it. At the point they tried to start patenting everyone else’s ideas is when they went wrong.  Apple’s stock might be at $648 today, but we have a feeling that by Wednesday that stock will start to drop. It might even start dropping today with the news that Motorola has filed a second complaint and is now asking for a full ban, investors are funny like that.
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Read 2784 times Last modified on Saturday, 18 August 2012 10:58

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