MotorolaAre corporate patent lawyers going wild? Now it's mobile-phone giant Motorola (MOT) suing Apple (AAPL) for allegedly violating patents in several of Apple's popular products, including the iPhone, iPad and certain Mac computers.

It's just the latest legal salvo in the rapidly escalating war over the intellectual property that underlies several popular mobile devices. No less than four major mobile companies are currently suing each other over cell-phone technology.

Motorola filed three complaints -- with the International Trade Commission, the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida -- over 18 patents that relate to "early-stage innovations developed by Motorola in key technology areas" including wireless email, antenna design (hopefully not this one), software applications and location-based services.

Motorola has requested that the ITC bar further sales of the allegedly infringing products, as well as halt the "the marketing, advertising, demonstration and warehousing of inventory for distribution and use of such imported products in the United States."

"We Had No Choice"

The handset maker issued a sharply worded statement justifying the move: "Motorola has innovated and patented throughout every cycle of the telecommunications industry evolution, from Motorola's invention of the cell phone to its development of premier smartphone products," said Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, in a statement. "We have extensively licensed our industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, consisting of tens of thousands of patents in the U.S. and worldwide."

Dailey added: "After Apple's late entry into the telecommunications market, we engaged in lengthy negotiations, but Apple has refused to take a license. We had no choice but to file these complaints to halt Apple's continued infringement. Motorola will continue to take all necessary steps to protect its R&D and intellectual property, which are critical to the company's business."

Last Friday, Motorola itself was the target of a lawsuit by Microsoft (MSFT), which claims Motorola's Android-based smartphones use Microsoft technology that's "essential to the smartphone user experience." Android is the rapidly growing mobile-phone operating system developed by Google (GOOG).

In March, Apple sued HTC, which, like Motorola, is one of Google's key Android partners, for allegedly infringing on 20 patents related to the iPhone, including aspects of its touch screen, user interface and user-sensing technology. In May, HTC struck back, suing Apple for allegedly violating HTC patents.

Somewhere, the lawyers are celebrating.

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Are there any corporate-law firms, which are publically traded??

October 06 2010 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Want a slice of Apple? My pick would be Motorola (MOT)... Motorola is a fine company, which has a steller history, much like HP. Products that are synonamous with cutting-edge technology, molded into best-quality packages. It has weathered quite a storm and I believe, Motorola deserves a break. Apple has endured a period of innovation and growth, which has left it completely unprepared to distribute it's success, either in the form of a substantial dividend, or worker-compensation. Much of their manufacturing costs have been neutralized by off-shore production, namely China. This lawsuit provides Apple with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spread it's success. I can think of no finer company than Motorola, to share "a piece of Apple." I do not currently own shares of either company, nor have I ever been employed by them. I have used Apple computers (just barely) and Motorola communications equipment (with pride).

October 06 2010 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Phone-pimp r, is the new software solution, which instantly interoggates the entire database of federal telecommunication tariffs, scans current special offers, mixes and prioritizes an almost infinite number of bundles, checks the financial stability of carriers, ascesses respone-times for digital traffic, determines the moral character of the sitting Board of Directors and finally, present you with a list of "opportunities" to communicate, sorted by carrier and price. Phone-pimp runs on most IBM 3090 (sierra-class, or later) mainframes and is available in standard configurations for 5000 users, or more. System software support and application management, are the responsibility of the host.

October 06 2010 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply