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Apple Expands Samsung, Motorola Patent Fight

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 7:18am
Maisie Ramsay

Apple took new steps last week in its international patent battles against Motorola Mobility and Samsung, filing fresh legal motions in its home state of California.

The company is aiming for a preliminary injunction on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, claiming in a complaint filed with a Northern California District Court that the smartphone violates four of its patents.

Florian Mueller, the patent expert behind the blog FOSS Patents, equated the patents to the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."

They include a data tapping patent that prompted the U.S. ITC to award a ban on HTC smartphones, a patent related to Apple's Siri voice-controlled search function, a patent on the slide to unlock function and a word completion patent.

Mueller reported that Apple's request for the injunction was part of a new federal lawsuit against Samsung that has not yet been made part of the public record.

Neither Apple nor Samsung could be immediately reached for comment.

Separately, Apple filed a complaint in a Southern California District Court aimed at blocking Motorola Mobility's German patent fight. Motorola's German suit claims that Apple's use of Qualcomm components in its iPhone 4S violates its patents.

But Motorola and Qualcomm have a licensing agreement on the patent, and Apple claims it is a "third party beneficiary" of the contract because it is Qualcomm's customer.

"Accordingly, Apple brings this suit for breach of contract, declaratory, and injunctive relief, and asks this Court to enjoin Motorola from prosecuting and enforcing its claims against Apple in Germany," Apple wrote in its complaint.

Motorola did not reply to requests for comment on the matter.

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