Apple Sues Motorola In Touch-Screen War


So many lawsuits, so little time: The latest salvo in the mobile phone patent war was launched by Apple against Motorola today in the U.S. District Court in Wisconsin.

The two suits allege patent infringement for multi-touch and other touch-screen technologies that Motorola uses in mobile phones, most specifically those in its Android smartphones.

Motorola, which has reportedly said it will contest Apple's claims, three weeks ago filed three separate patent infringement claims against Apple. Apple is also in a legal battle with HTC regarding patent infringement claims.

In the two lawsuits filed by Apple on Oct. 26, the company is contending that Motorola is violating six patents, each involving the way a smartphone registers how a user touches its screen. Affected products, according to court documents are mobile devices, including smartphones, and associated software, for example, operating systems, user interfaces, and other application software designed for use on, and loaded into, those devices.

Apple is seeking a judgment that "Motorola's various acts of infringement have been willful and deliberate, and therefore, that Apple is entitled to up to treble damages as provided by 35 U.S.C. 284." The company has requested a jury trial. (More detail on the allegations is at Patently Apple.)

A guilty verdict could have a severe, detrimental affect on Motorola's sales of its extremely popular Droid mobile device. In fact, last week Motorola posted third quarter sales gains, the first since 2006, and its phone division also reported an operating profit on Thursday for the first time in three years. Analysts widely credit Motorola's Droid sales for reversing the company's revenue nosedive.