Details on Motorola vs. Apple patent case lodged with the ITC emerge

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 21, 2012

You may have heard that Motorola has filed a new complaint against Apple seeking the ban onApple products in the U.S. due to patent infringement. New details have surfaced, with the ITC posting a copy of the full complaint online.

The lawsuit, filed with the International trade Commission last Friday, seeks an import ban on products that include the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac computers. TechCrunch has offered a summary of the lawsuit’s salient points, which focus on these seven patents:

  • 5,883,580: Patent relates to processing messages in the context of space and time. Motorola says Apple’s location-reminders infringe upon this patent.
  • 5,922,047: Patent relates to communications and control systems for multimedia, particularly “control over a plurality of media applications including telephony, video conferencing, analog video, digital video, and AC power line signaling …”¬†Motorola says the iPhone and iPad infringe on this patent.
  • 6,425,002: Patent is for communications devices, ensuring apps installed only receive messages of interest.
  • 6,983,370: This patent relates to continuity between messaging client, particularly the ability to sync messaging capabilities of multiple devices. Motorola says all Apple devices infringe on this patent, except the iPod and Apple TV.
  • 6,493,673: Patent is for communications devices that are capable of providing interactive services. This involves a prompt, input mechanism and converting audible user input into a text string.
  • 7,007,064: Patent discloses an “apparatus and method for obtaining and managing wirelessly communicated content.”
  • 7,383,983: Patent is for managing content between devices in various domains. The patent also relates to “pausing content in one device and resuming playback of the content in another device.”

Motorola has filed the patent complaint against the ITC, saying Apple has refused to negotiate licensing terms for these technologies. If the ITC sides with Motorola (and effectively, Google) in this case, the trade commission could enforce an import ban on Apple products, which means virtually all Apple devices manufactured in its facilities in China and elsewhere.

It could be argued that Apple may instead choose to produce its goods within American soil, given that it can accommodate additional costs within its hefty profit margin. But this will result in reduced earnings for the company.

At this point, however what is effectively an Apple vs. Android patent war is likely to lead to a review of the patent system, given how these lawsuits are seen to be hurting the innovation process.

  • Frank Rizzo

    Apple could imports the parts from their suppliers and assemble the products here in the states but that would costs them to much money. Apple manufactures their products where labor laws are nonexistent or ignored to keep costs down to turn big profits.

    • “Apple manufactures their products where labor laws are nonexistent or ignored to keep costs down to turn big profits.”

      …as does just about everyone else making these types of products.

      The difference is Apple is making more money than its competitors because they are making products that more people want to buy and its customers are willing to pay a slight premium for.

      • Rubbish. A top end Android phone costs the same as an iPhone. Last time I checked, Android had double the market share that Apple has.

        • Discworld80

          If there’s one comment here that’s rubbish, it’s yours. Your argument assumes ALL Android phones are high end phones with lots of margin, which is obviously wrong.

          Although Android has a higher market share in smartphones, a significant portion of Android’s market share exists of cheap phones with low margins. Furthermore, these high end Android phones you are talking about sell way below RRP just weeks after release further reducing the margins.

          In contrast, Apple’s iPhone RRP is fixed and because they only sell iPhones, ALL unit sales have high margins. So Ellis Vener’s comment is right and yours is the one that’s rubbish, but I guess that’s the sort of intelligence we can expect from Fandroids.

          • benrees21

            Butt hurt much? Profit margin only matters to shareholders and since I am not one, I couldn’t give a crap about profit margins. Just man up and admit that Android is outselling iOS. The only reason Apple have them profit margins is because the iPhone is other peoples tech cobbled together! Then they rip you off.

          • Lawrence

            If tomorrow I would be distributing skoda’s for free, what do you think would be the world’s most driven car after a while? Phone manufacturers using Android are admitting they themselves are too stupid or lazy to develop a great operating system of their own. What distinguishes a Sony XPERIA from a Samsung S3? They look different but have the same engine. Like Ford, Volkswagen, Chrysler and NIssan would be using the same engine given to them for free by some company. Wow. How innovative! How unique. How truly astonishing! There are certainly a lot of people who are satisfied with a Ford running a Skoda engine. Then again, there will sure always be those who’d rather drive a true genuine Deutsche Mercedes Benz. I guess there’s goodies for everyone.

        • Lawrence

          Isn’t that obvious since there are about a dozen manufacturers who use Android because it is free for them to use?? Something that is given for free has a tendency of being quite popular. Things that are great however, usually are given away for a price that equals its quality… Fact is, iOS came first. Android ran after it trying to keep up. So we have one company doing all the R&D and all the others stealing it from them and the crowd blames the true innovaters. Even if I am an Apple fanboy, if tomorrow they do something I don’t think is fair I will not defend them for it. On the contrary, because I am not married with anyone of them and above all I stay honest with myself and my values of fairnes and honesty.

      • Lawrence

        you are right on it. I believe companies can turn the tide in their favor if they innovate. Until OSX I had a Mac running OS8 and 9 simply because Pro Tools, audio software did not yet exist on the PC. I also had a PC with windows XP. I remember I hated Apple. I found them to be rubbish. No file manager. No decent TCP/IP config. Crap. I was so happy with my windows XP. Along came OSX. Being scepticle at first I learnt to appreciate its elegance. Until I found it was so much more fun and easier to use than this XP I once sooo loved. My appreciation for Apple raised. Then came the iMac. Innovative and gutsy. A little later there came my first Macbook Pro. Then the iPhone. Indeed the iPhone became that phone for me that finally did things the way I always wanted them to be: straight-forward and simple. Without hassle and without hiding essential things in 100 -level menus underneath crap I would never use in the first place. Steve Jobs had a genius vision with his digital hub concept and I for one believe in that. Sure it sometimes is annoying that you need your iTunes pc/mac to sync but it does keep your gadgets simple and easy to use. Sure I’ve played with Android. Some phones are really great looking things. I like the Galaxy S3 design. Also the Sony XPERIA looks great as does the Motorola RAZR. They were potential phones for me to buy. Reason I did not however: Android. Too complex. It is 13 in a dozen. That is why I stick with Apple, for now, until tomorrow someone comes up with someting better. For now I consider Apple to be the reference. Fact that everyone copies them shamelessly proves that in fact.

        • benrees21

          Android too complex? My 4 year old son can navigate around my phone. You just are an Apple fanboy, throwing out all the same old tired excuses to deny the fact Apple are getting spanked in market share! And before you say it, I don’t care about profit margins, I’m not a shareholder. 1.3 million Android devices activated everyday now. Go cry.

  • benrees21

    I see you love to troll Engadget on every Samsung article. You pathetic Apple fanboy!

  • Lawrence

    What is this BS? Being an ICT consultant of my country’s leading ICT service provider I am sure I have broken all of the above patents on several occasions. They concern basic programming things. If you patent that shit, you may as well patent the moves required to wipe your rear end. Sorry to say it like this but comon Motorola, will you sue anyone who sends a bytestream over UDP which happens to be a mobie in mp4 format?? Wil you sue anyone who verifies the state in a memory table against these objects on a remote location? You better sue anyone who uses hibernate and the entire JAVA community becuase there are frameworks who do that exact thing. And they did not copy your patents. They simply used their capacity to think these things out. And when several people individually think things over, without even knowing about each other, and then come with similar solutions, then this is common knowledge and cannot be patented. Google lost my respect. What a bunch of fucking losers. Android is an attempt of doing what iOS is doing only for nerds who don’t care things to get a lot more complicated. A shameles iOS copy. Innovate instead of ripping Apple of!

    • benrees21

      You utter Apple fanboy. I know, let’s sue because something is a rectangle with black borders AKA a digital photo frame. Or maybe we can sue for colourful icons? Even better, we can sue for icons with rounded corners. Just some of Apples crap patents. At least Motorola’s have tech behind them. You can’t patent the moves to wipe your rear end as Apple already did.