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Motorola seeks to invalidate 11 Apple iPhone-related patents

Handset maker Motorola has taken preemptive legal action against rival Apple in asking a court to invalidate 11 iPhone-related patents.

Motorola, which recently sued Apple over alleged patent violations, filed a complaint last week with a U.S. District Court in Delaware. The complaint seeks to invalidate a total of 11 patents awarded to Apple and NeXT Software, both companies founded by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs.

The preemptive strike notes that Apple has a "history of asserting" that handsets running Google's Android mobile operating system violate the 11 named patents. Motorola's suit notes that Apple's lawsuit against handset maker HTC, filed earlier this year, includes those patents.

The complaint asserts that Motorola is not infringing on the patents in question, and also attempts to prove to the court that the granted patents are invalid.

The patents specifically named in the lawsuit are:

Earlier this month, Motorola sued Apple, alleging that the iPhone maker has infringed on patents it owns. The lawsuit was filed through a subsidiary, Motorola Mobility Inc., with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Motorola Mobility has accused Apple of violating a total of 18 patents it owns, related to a range of technologies including 3G, GPRS, 802.11 wireless, and antenna design. Specifically named Apple products include MobileMe and the App Store.

Given the numerous lawsuits and countersuits filed with the ITC involving Apple, it is likely that the iPhone maker will respond in kind to Motorola with a lawsuit of its own. In addition to legal battles with Motorola and HTC, Apple is also at odds with Nokia and Kodak.