Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 02:17 pm PT (05:17 pm ET)
Motorola blocked from adding iTunes, iCloud and iPhone 4S to patent claim after late filingMotorola Mobility has been blocked by a US court from belatedly adding iTunes, iCloud and iPhone 4S to its patent infringement claims against Apple.
The supplemental infringement claims Motorola attempted to add to its case with Apple at the end of October were blocked by the US District Court in the Souther District of Florida after Apple filed a motion to strike them, according to a report by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.
Motorola's opposition brief in response to Apple's motion to strike was filed too late for the court to accept, but it attempted to make the case that the its existing claims should be expanded to involve iTunes, iCloud and the new iPhone 4S because otherwise "Motorola seemingly would have to file an entirely new case against Apple to claim that these products infringe exactly the same patents at issue here."
Motorola wasn't just adding new products to its claims however. Mueller notes that the attempted expansion of the case by Motorola also "raised new issues with respect to certain originally-accused products."
Apple separately attempted to move the Southern Florida case to the Western District of Wisconsin, and also filed a motion to stay the litigation until Google completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, arguing that Motorola currently lacked the authority to negotiate its patent rights due to the acquisition's pending status. Both requests have been denied by the court.
While Motorola was prevented from involving iTunes, iCloud and iPhone 4S in its US litigation, it has incorporated claims against iCloud in its German litigation.
Because Motorola does not sell or offer iCloud-like online services or a software product or store similar to iTunes, its attempts to broaden patent infringement claims outside of smartphones and tablets into Apple's other businesses has the effect of turning the company's patent litigation from legal action seeking to defend itself with its own patents into a patent troll operation that seeks to monetize patents it does not actually practice.
Apple has also accused Motorola (along with Samsung) of attempting to monopolize markets by leveraging patents already committed to "Fair, Reasonable And NonDiscriminatory" licensing terms in unfair and discriminatory ways to justify its own use of infringing Android technologies and hardware designs that infringe upon Apple's design patent rights.
The European Commission is actively investigating Samsung and other patent holders (apparently including Motorola Mobility) and their behaviors in allegedly violating EU competition laws.
Last year, Google waged a war against MPEG-LA and the open, FRAND-licensed H.264 video standards, complaining that the technologies weren't completely free for everyone to implement.
However, Google is now actively supporting its Android licensees, including Samsung, Motorola Mobility and HTC, all of whom are using FRAND-licensed patents as weapons to prevent not just a free implementation of wireless technologies like 3G and WiFi, but actually attempting to block Apple from being able to pay to license the patents in order to implement open standards.
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