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Friday, December 03, 2010, 10:10 pm PT (01:10 am ET)

Apple adds 12 more patents to lawsuit against Motorola

Apple has amended its lawsuit against Motorola to include 12 more patents, bringing the total count of patents that Apple accuses Motorola of violating to 24, while Motorola alleges that Apple has infringed on 18 of its patents.

Motorola first sued Apple in October in what many believe was a preemptive move after Apple sued HTC for violation of smartphone patents that the company holds. Motorola and HTC are two of the most prominent makers of Android-based smartphones.

"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said of his company's case against HTC. "We've decided to do something about it."

In its suit against Apple, Motorola accused the iPhone maker of refusing to pay a license after "lengthy negotiations." Motorola also claims Apple infringed upon patents relating to technologies that include 3G, GPRS, 802.11 wireless and antenna design.

After Motorola sued Apple, the Cupertino, Calif., company quickly responded with a countersuit. Last week, the U.S. International Trade Commission announced that it was launching a formal investigation of Motorola in response to Apple's allegations.

Apple's motion this week to add an additional 12 patents to its lawsuit against Motorola counters a preemptive request filed by Motorola in October for a declaratory judgment that would block Apple from using those patents against Motorola in court. The declaratory judgment references 11 patents that Apple used in its suit against HTC, but had yet to use against Motorola.

The iPhone maker has requested that Motorola's declaratory judgment case, which was filed in Delaware, be dismissed or moved to Wisconsin, where Apple's suit against Motorola was filed, Electronista reports. Apple argues that since Motorola is already suing Microsoft in Wisconsin, moving the declaratory judgment case there shouldn't be a problem.

Apple's legal wrangling has made it the "world's most-sued tech company" since 2008 and forced it to expand its legal department. According to a Bloomberg earlier this week, Apple has brought on "some of the nation's top patent lawyers as outside counsel."

In 2009, 27 patent infringement lawsuits were filed against Apple. According to Apple, responding to those claims, whether valid or not, consumes "significant time and expense."