Say it ain't so, Siri.
Motorola and Apple are fighting, at least in part, over Apple's virtual executive assistant: Siri. Motorola Mobility last week confirmed it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple regarding seven patents, including one that involves Siri technology. Other technologies involved include email notifications, reminders and video/audio players.
Since Google bought Motorola Mobility last May and subsequently axed 4,000 jobs, Google took ownership of that company's 17,000 patents. It was a windfall for the patent-lacking Google. Moto has contended it has tried to work out an arrangement for the use of the patents with Apple, but it has been unsuccessful in those negotiations. Potentially, Google could succeed in getting a U.S. import ban placed on Apple devices, which are manufactured in China.
The patent infringement lawsuit was filed one week before a decision is expected on an earlier International Trade Commission investigation of Motorola's first ITC complaint against Apple. A preliminary ruling found that Apple may have violated one of the patents in that case. However, the patent was a "standard-essential" one, which means it would not be subject to an import ban.
Patent infringement lawsuits in IT have become a common occurrence, often with the same players repeatedly taking each other to court. Motorola and Apple are involved in litigation not only in the United States but also in Europe. The courts seem to be suffering from patent litigation exhaustion: For example, earlier this summer, Judge Richard Possner dismissed a patent infringement suit between the two companies, noting that, "I have tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief. The trial scheduled to begin this coming Monday is therefore canceled."
PUBLISHED AUG. 20, 2012