ITC takes up Motorola complaint against Apple

The U.S. International Trade Commission will investigate Motorola's allegations that Apple infringed 18 of its patents, the commission said on Wednesday.

Motorola filed a complaint with the commission in early October, charging Apple with infringing 18 of its patents, including those that cover technologies related to antenna design, 802.11, wireless e-mail, proximity sensing and location-based services. Motorola alleged that Apple uses those patents in the iPhone, iPad, iTouch, some Mac computers and services including MobileMe and the App Store.

Motorola's complaint requests an order barring the importation of "certain video games and controllers" that infringe Motorola patents, the ITC said.

Within 45 days, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.

The ITC isn't the only battleground for Motorola and Apple. Motorola has also sued Apple in two U.S. federal courts and in mid-October it asked another court to invalidate 12 Apple patents.

Just last week, Apple sued Motorola, citing patent infringement in Droid phones.

The dispute between the companies is just one of many in the mobile-phone industry. HTC and Apple have sued each other for patent infringement, Microsoft has sued Motorola over its Android phone, and Nokia and Apple have sued each other.

Apple looks unlikely to prevail in its ITC complaint against Nokia. The ITC reportedly released a memo Tuesday in which it notes that the commission is unlikely to determine Nokia infringed Apple patents.

The lawsuits indicate just how much the companies believe is at stake as they compete for dominance in the booming mobile market.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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