Motorola files new patent claims against Apple

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, has filed new patent claims against Apple. They include the assertion that Apple's voice assistant, Siri, is based on Motorola technology.

In all, Motorola's asserting seven patents, which also cover email notifications, location reminders and media playback. The patents appear not to be standards-essential, meaning that Motorola could in theory win an import ban on pretty much every Apple device if successful.

The two companies have been locked in a series of patent disputes around the world for more than two years.

The move comes just days before an expected decision on Motorola's first ITC complaint against Apple. A preliminary ruling has determined that Applehas infringed a Motorola patent covering noise reduction, but a penalty has yet to be set.

It's unlikely to include an import ban, as that particular patent has been deemed standards-essential, meaning that it's supposed to be licensed under fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms.

"The announcement of this new complaint may be driven in part by a desire to demonstrate that Motorola isn't finished even if its first ITC complaint against Apple may fail (in its entirety, or for the most part). Another possible motivation on Google's part is that the acquisition of Motorola Mobility has not been money well spent so far," says patent expert Florian Mueller.

"And a third reason could be that Apple has the upper hand in its dispute with Samsung and may receive a favorable verdict, possibly as early as next week, which would call into question Google's ability to bring about the patent peace it promised a year ago when it announced the Motorola deal."