LONDON – The war between the leading suppliers of personal electronics has escalated as Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility has asked for a ban in the United States on a broad set of products from Apple Inc. (Cupertino Calif.).
The U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed to look into claims from Motorola Mobility that certain Apple products infringe patents held by Motorola companies. The complainants have asked the ITC to issue an exclusion order to keep the products out of the U.S. market.
The investigation is set to cover certain Apple iPhones, iPods, iPads and Apple personal computers and components within them.
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The ITC announcement comes a week after a court in Munich, Germany, ruled that Motorola Mobility must recall all the Android-based tablet computers and smartphones it has shipped into that country after a ruling that they infringe Apple patents on scrolling. Apple also won a high-profile court case in August against Korean rival Samsung, winning damages of $1.049 billion plus a verdict of willful infringement of patents.
The German ban of Motorola Android products does not come into force immediately as Apple has to reference particular models and Motorola has an opportunity to appear. Similarly the ITC will take time to consider a schedule for its investigation of Apple.
When Google announced its intention to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in August 2011, Google CEO Larry Page said the move would strengthen Google's patent portfolio, enabling the firm to better protect Android from "anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies."