Apple hits back at Motorola with multitouch patent suit

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The patent battle between Apple and Android vendors is hotting up, with a new lawsuit from Apple alleging that Mororola has infringed its intellectual property with its touch-screen phones, including the Droid line.

First reported by Patently Apple, the two lawsuits claim that Motorola has infringed six different patents relating to some of its most important technologies.

The multitouch and user interface patents, Apple says, are infringed by Motorola's Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq, Cliq XT, BackFlip, Devour A555, Devour i1, and Charm phones.Apple wants the phones to be pulled from the shelves, and wants unspecified damages along with legal fees.

The move follows a patent suit from Motorola a month ago, claiming that Apple had infringed 18 of its patents, covering wireless and other technologies. It went on to claim that Apple's multitouch patents were invalid, and asked a federal judge to throw them out.

The current crop of disputed patents aren't the same ones, which Apple also sued HTC over earlier this year.

They are as follows:    

US Patent No. 7,812,828 - "Elipse fitting for multi-touch surfaces"
US Patent No. 7,663,607 - "Multipoint touchscreen"
US Patent No. 5,379,430 - "Object-oriented system locator system"
US Patent No. 7,479,949 - "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics"
US Patent No. 6,493,002 - "Method and apparatus for displaying and accessing control and status information in a computer system"
US Patent No. 5,838,315 - "Support for custom user-interaction elements in a graphical, event-driven computer system"

The odds are, of course, that the battle will end as it generally does with the two companies coming to some sort of agreement over licensing. Indeed, it appears that the current legal jamboree arises from the breakdown of licensing talks between the two companies earlier this year.