ITC to investigate Motorola patent complaint against Apple

Motorola Mobility accuses Apple devices of infringing patents related to email notifications, media players, and location reminders

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to move forward with an investigation of alleged infringement of Motorola Mobility patents by Apple, the agency announced Tuesday.

Motorola, in an August complaint filed at the ITC, accused Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, of infringing patents related to email notifications, location reminders and media players. Motorola has asked the ITC to bar Apple from importing those devices into the U.S.

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Apple and Motorola, owned by Google, have been engaged in a wide-scale patent dispute in recent months. The two companies separately appealed a June decision by Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to throw out a case involving standards-essential patents.

Apple has also asked the European Commission to intervene in its patent dispute with Motorola Mobility, leading to a legal battle in German courts.

The ITC will assign the case to an administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The judge will determine whether Apple has violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, and that decision can be reviewed by the commission.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for the IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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