Not content to find itself on the losing end of an Apple/Samsung patent lawsuit situation, Google's Motorola-division has gone on the offensive, and asked for an import ban on almost every OS X and iOS device currently in production.
Ars Technica is reporting on a newly unearthed complaint, filed by Motorola last month, requesting that the International Trade Commission investigate Apple for patent infringement. The new Apple patent lawsuit centers on the OS X/iOS instant messaging application iMessage, which Motorola argues violates a patent from 2006 for an instant messaging system that offers users "continuity between messaging clients." While Motorola's legal counsel focuses heavily on the iMessage infringement(s) in the initial filing, the company claims that a total of seven different patents have been violated by Apple devices including the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch, and all three versions of the iPad.
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The additional patents touch on a wide variety of services, including a system for content management between devices, a method for handling multiple outbound communications on single device, and a method for controlling multimedia. Presumably, the patents are in reference to iCloud, iTunes Remote, and whatever system the iOS/OS X devices use to queue/send messages when more than one application is attempting to do so.
If Apple is found to be guilty of patent infringement, Motorola has asked that the company immediately be barred from importing iOS and OS X devices; as well as prohibit the company from selling or advertising the sale of such imported devices. Google's newest mobile division argues that such a ban would not negatively impact the market, or have much of a long-term impact on U.S. consumers. The company also argues that, even if such a ban directly caused a minor increase in market prices, that fact alone "is insufficient to warrant preclusion of a remedial order." Motorola's patent infringement allegations were not reported until now, because the complaint was not made public until earlier this week. Yesterday, the International Trade Commission announced that they would launch an investigation of Apple, but also made clear in the announcement that they have "not yet made any decision on the merits of the case."