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Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 12:25 pm PT (03:25 pm ET)

Motorola sues Apple for alleged patent infringement

Motorola announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary, Motorola Mobility Inc., filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, accusing the iPhone, iPod touch and certain Macs infringe on patents.

Motorola Mobility has alleged the violation of 18 patents it owns, related to a range of technologies including 3G, GPRS, 802.11 wireless and antenna design. Accused Apple products include MobileMe and the App Store.

Motorola claims that it attempted to license technology to Apple, and engaged in "lengthy negotiations" with the iPhone maker, but a deal could not be reached. The company alleged that Apple "refused" to pay for a license.

The complaint was filed against Apple in two U.S. districts: the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida. It covers technologies such as wireless e-mail, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.

"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 with Motorola Mobility. "We have extensively licensed our industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, consisting of tens of thousands of patents in the U.S. and worldwide."

"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."

As is standard in an ITC suit, Motorola asked the commission to ban the importation of products involved in the suit, including the iPhone ad iPad. Motorola has also asked the ITC to halt the marketing, promotion and sale of products it believes are infringing. Motorola also seeks compensation from Apple.

Motorola's lawsuit is just the latest in a long list of complaints involving Apple before the ITC. Apple has also sued Nokia, and is also being sued by the Finnish handset maker. The ITC has agreed to look into both companies' complaints of patent infringement.

Apple has also sued handset maker HTC. And it's being sued by Elan Microelectronics over multi-touch.

The ITC has also begun investigating claims made by Kodak against Apple. The camera company has alleged that Apple is in violation of patents that relate to the previewing of images, and processing them at different resolutions.