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Motorola Mobility slams Apple with new patent infringement suit

Motorola Mobility has filed a new lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of infringing on a series of its patents in developing products such as the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. In a complaint lodged with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the Google-owned company sought a US import ban on those devices, which are manufactured in Asia.

“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.

Though Apple and Motorola have engaged in licensing negotiations since 2010, Apple has accused Motorola of being unreasonable in its requests and no agreements have been reached.

The patents in question are non-standard-essential and cover features such as location reminders, email notification, and voice recognition, Bloomberg reported.

This is not the first patent mêlée between the two companies - they have faced off in multiple infringement cases in the US and in Germany, the latter of which granted both companies two injunctions against products made by the other, though none has had significant effects thus far. In the US, the ITC is due to announce a final decision on 24 August about the first infringement case launched by Motorola against Apple.

But this latest suit could be the first step in a broader Google strategy to fight Apple on multiple fronts, especially given the seriousness of the infringement accusations levied against Android.

“The announcement of this new complaint may be driven in part by a desire to demonstrate that Motorola isn't finished even if its first ITC complaint against Apple may fail,” wrote patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

“Another possible motivation on Google's part is that the acquisition of Motorola Mobility has not been money well spent so far. And a third reason could be that Apple has the upper hand in its dispute with Samsung and may receive a favorable verdict...which would call into question Google's ability to bring about the patent peace it promised a year ago when it announced the Motorola deal,” Mueller added.