ITC investigates Apple over Motorola complaints

Like an annoyed parent, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to investigate Apple after Motorola complained that the iPhone maker was playing with its toys violating its patents, says The Inquirer. In October, Motorola filed a suit against Apple claiming that the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad violated 18 Moto patents regarding GPRS, Wi-Fi, WCDMA (3G) wireless communication, and wireless antenna design. Other alleged infringements concern Apple’s MobileMe cloud-based subscription service and Apple’s App Store.  In return, Apple counter-sued Motorola for violating multitouch patents with its Droid smartphones. The ITC has not stated that it will investigate Motorola.

This news comes a day after the ITC ruled that Apple has no case against Nokia. The two companies have also sued and counter-sued one another for a varying slate of patents. In that case, Apple accused Nokia of infringing on 13 patents related to user interface and handset startup, among other things. That suit came after Nokia sued Apple over GSM implementation on the iPhone.

Apple also has also launched a patent infringement lawsuit against HTC—HTC, in turn, claims Apple copies themand brought its own complaint before the FTC. Apple isn’t the only guilty party either. Almost every major mobile manufacturer and software maker is suing and being sued. Like a playground full of bullies, they are using patents to gain the upper hand in one of the most competitive tech spaces. Unless patent law is reformed, it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

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