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Complaint filed by Motorola to ITC puts Apple under the looking glass

The next step in the Motorola v Apple patent wars has occurred. Motorola has filed a complaint with the ITC regarding 7 of its patents. Now, the ITC will determine if Motorola has a case. If so, this could spell the beginning of the end for iOS in the United States.
September 18, 2012

The Apple patent wars are a bittersweet time in the mobile tech community. This is especially true for fans of HTC, Samsung, or Motorola. Usually, iOS and Android fans dish out some good-natured ribbing to each other and call it a day. Since the patent wars began, however, each side has faced the possibility that their favorite OS might not be around for much longer.

This had made things a little more tense. Apple and various manufacturers have been trading blows for quite some time now. We all remember the one billion USD Apple won from Samsung and there was the lesser known victory for HTC in the UK. Now, it’s Motorola’s turn.

We’ve been covering the Apple v Motorola battle of 2012 and it has been an ugly one. Both companies are accusing one another of infringing on a number of patents. Worse yet, they’re doing it in a number of countries. The latest step forward in the patent battle is the ITC will now investigate Apple based on complaints filed by Motorola. In short, Motorola cried wolf and the ITC is checking it out.

ITC will be investigating Apple for 7 patents that Motorola holds. According to FOSS Patents, they include:

  1. U.S. Patent No. 5,883,580 on “geographic-temporal significant messaging”
  2. U.S. Patent No. 5,922,047 on an “apparatus, method and system for multimedia control and communication”
  3. U.S. Patent No. 6,425,002 on an “apparatus and method for handling dispatching messages for various applications of a communication device”
  4. U.S. Patent No, 6,493,673 on a “markup language for interactive services and methods thereof”
  5. U.S. Patent No. 6,983,370 on a “system for providing continuity between messaging clients and method therefor”
  6. U.S. Patent No. 7,007,064 on a “method and apparatus for obtaining and managing wirelessly communicated content”
  7. U.S. Patent No. 7,383,983 on a “system and method for managing content between devices in various domains”

If you’d like more info on each patent, the links in the list will take you to the official filing.

So what happens next?

The next step will be the ITC determining if Motorola has a case. If so, then we could see iOS devices banned from sale for the first time. For many in the Android camp, this will be a serious win. For those in the Apple camp, that’s going to hurt quite a bit. At least until the iPhone 5 launch.

Thus, the next step in the Motorola v Apple patent war has taken place. People in camp Android and camp iOS are hoping that their side wins. There is something to consider. If Apple gets what it wants, there will be no more Android phones. If the Android manufacturers get what they want, there will be no more iPhones.

If both sides manage to win, that’ll leave smartphone consumers with Windows and Blackberry devices as the mobile front runners. You know, like it was back in 2005. What’s the definition of progress again? Tell your thoughts in the comments.