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Google Has Had Enough: Files Lawsuit To Ban Multiple Apple Products

Eric McBride


I knew this day would come. I can’t say that I hoped for it, but in all honesty, it was inevitable. Apple has been very busy lately in doing all it can to ban as many Android devices as it can, and HTC, Samsung, and Motorola have all recently got a small taste of the Apple juice lately. But something has changed: Google now owns Motorola, and aren’t wasting any time in defending their new acquisition, as they are now seeking a sales ban on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers in the US. This time, it’s personal, and contains a twist that could potentially make this particular lawsuit a very dangerous one for Apple.

This is the first case that Google has signed off on in defending their new hardware company, meaning that there’s no more lurking in the background providing support. This is full on Google with their law team directly involved. This isn't Google watching from the sidelines, but instead, they are calling this one play by play. But Google and Motorola were clever, as this isn't a lawsuit that focuses on silly topics such as icons or square shaped tablets.

Google and Motorola are claiming patent infringement for non-standard essential patents. To put it simply, Google-rola has filed a case for a patent that courts cannot legally force companies to license, meaning that if they win this case, Apple could be forced to completely stop using the technology in their devices.

We don’t have confirmation on exactly which patent (reportedly "wifi related") is in question here, but we do know that Motorola attempted to reach licensing agreements with Apple (since 2010), which Apple apparently refused. Motorola stated that:

We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations”.

(UPDATE: (FOSS Patents is reporting that one of the non standard essential patents in question is for a "sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device", but does not directly specify a wifi related patent. There is still one more non standard essential patent in question, but the specifics of this patent aren't clear at this time. I will contact FOSS Patents and ZDNET (source) for new developments).

This is a big one for Google and for Apple. This isn’t just an OEM that Apple is dealing with now. This is one of the most powerful (if not THE most powerful) movers and shakers in the world. If this comes to trial, Apple could really have its hands full, and might even be forced to rely on Microsoft for backup. **shudders**

The patent wars involving Android and Apple have now reached new heights, and with Google in the center, I have a feeling that things could get very very ugly for the companies that have sought to ban Android products. That being said, you never know how this case could go with the state of the current patent system. 

Additional souces: Bloomberg and Mobilenapps

P.S - I still can't believe this article has gone SO viral. We didn't even break this story, and as you can see, I wrote it over a week ago ! Thank you so much for helping spread it around, and I will do my best to update it with more information as I receive it. If you happen to get your hands on information that's not so public yet, let me know so I can update the article!

Picture credits: (edited by myself)

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    Nick N. Aug 20, 2012 Link

    Shit just got real.

  • James Tadle Aug 20, 2012 Link

    I hope Apple losses this time !

  • kss imkum Aug 20, 2012 Link

    I don't fully understand what this is about. but sure sounds like shit hit the fan..

  • Eric McBride Aug 20, 2012 Link

    @Nick LOL! It certainly did!

    @James - Let's see! Maybe a taste of their own medicine with be good for them.

  • Ibraheem Satti Aug 20, 2012 Link

    the words of the great Samuel l.Jackson:"enough is enough ive had it with these....."

  • Eric McBride Aug 20, 2012 Link

    @ Ibraheem- LOL! Snakes on a Plane?

  • Ibraheem Satti Aug 20, 2012 Link

    @eric yup

  • bits Aug 20, 2012 Link

    Game on !

  • Jeremy Meiss Aug 22, 2012 Link

    I mention the lawsuit in this article -

    We do know what patents are involved, and they could be big ones.

  • Eric McBride Aug 23, 2012 Link

    I agree Jeremy. Google wouldn't even go forward with the lawsuit without pulling out the big guns.

  • CJ Brown Aug 27, 2012 Link

    FINALLY ! Google is doing the right thing (while I can understand why Microsoft is watching quietly on the side lines for the results) .... Apple needs a quality indictment leveled against them (& if this case takes a year to be dealt with? better that then a rush judgement which offers up an appeal) ...

  • Apple ain't Scurred Aug 28, 2012 Link

    Pahlease...Everyone knows that Android is a blatant rip off of Apple.
    Apple is going to whup up on Google until they cough up a billion too.
    Apple doesn't need help from anyone, not Microsoft, not even your mother.
    Oh...You say Google has lawyers!
    Apple's dogs still have blood on their mouths after how they did Samsung.
    Google threw away $12 billion on Motorola just to try and get some more patent ammunition to battle Apple.
    Are they willing to throw away the whole company or should they be smart.
    Put a knife into Android and go back to what they do well. SEARCH!!!

  • rusty robinson Aug 28, 2012 Link

    @apple Ok so if Google does lose the first round (unlikely but for a example lets say) Google will appeal and take it to the supreme courts ok now little may your registering to make an ass of urself did mind know that the Govt. Operates on the Google system that their hardrives have access to all the top secret docs they have so lets say accidentally they get handed over to Assange....... Your little brain think that the govt. Is gonna be that stupid to mess with who is actually in control of everything that makes this country run? That be like you taking you perfect little apple and shoving it in your mouth while Google roasts your ass like they will what jobs built! And yes i did just register to make this comment but ill stick around to make sure to keep ifags off of an android forum

  • rusty robinson Aug 28, 2012 Link

    I meant servers instead of hard drives

  • Neutrality Aug 28, 2012 Link

    @ Apple fanboy above: (not rusty)

    I suppose you don't actually read into tech too much, you just scurry off to the Apple store when they throw a commercial at you, right? So let's touch on some points.

    First, unless you want to start citing sources, I'd suggest ceasing all further speculation that something is "a blatant rip off". The original Android idea was formed as Android, Inc. in 2003, which is like 4 years or something before the first iPhone released. (You can pull out the OSX version of Calculator if you need to confirm that.) And considering that the first Android OS went into development BETA the same year the iPhone came out, you'd be hard pressed to convince someone that it was a rip off (usually factual information, that is).

    Second, let's travel back in time to 1997 when Gil Amelio (the then CEO) was relieved of his position because of the ever growing concern of bankruptcy the company was facing that (here comes a big shocker to you) was prevented by a $150 million purchase of stock from Microsoft. Just let them know that they don't need Microsoft's help, then head back to the present time. Whoa holy shit -- where'd your Apple stores go? Oh right, they don't exist... because things didn't quite turn around like they could have.

    I know it's going to take some courage to admit, but you're going to have to push that aside and let logic be used for a moment and realize that even the mighty Apple isn't infallible.

    Cheers mate. ;)

  • Jason Andromeda Aug 28, 2012 Link

    I hate sounding like a douche but this is really poorly written. How did this end up so high on News.Google, weird.

    Read up on wifi licenses.

  • Kolbjørn Barmen Aug 28, 2012 Link

    Not to defend Apple in any way, but to those who keep pointing out that Android was there before iPhone - rememeber Newton? Apple Newton? The PDA thingy? It was developed from 1987 and first came out in 1993. I wonder how many of those patens Apple hold when it comes to UI design is from the development of Newton and old MacOS, and not iPod/iPhone. I have a couple of old Newton MP2000 PDAs, and I certainly recognize some bits and pieces from them in the iPhone and iPad (fonts, rounded edges yes.. also old MacOS had that). But, let's be clear, Apple wasn't the only company from that period who had those things, but it might seem that they were the ones who bothered to patent every single minor detail. The problem is not Apple, the problem is the US patent system.

  • Henry G Fentail Aug 28, 2012 Link

    @ James Tadle - and i hope you had a good shit?

  • Rick Aug 28, 2012 Link

    @Neutrality -

    Your argument doesn't make much sense. I have no idea what this article is talking about; perhaps indeed Apple has violated a patent from Motorola's portfolio: one can only assume this is one of the motivations for Google's acquisition of Motorola in the first place.

    The problem with your argument is that you're arguing for Android's existence prior to the iPhone, which is of course true: that's not up for debate. What is up for debate is how it evolved /after/ the iPhone's debut... and you can pretty quickly see the similarities between Android a year after the iPhone and Android just before the iPhone. I'm not saying Google specifically violated any patents here, I'm simply saying that it's clear Android became strongly inspired by iOS.

    Along those lines, your paragraph about Microsoft's $150 million stock purchase is a bit far-fetched.. you might want to revisit history:

    Of course Apple isn't infallible: even that guy's odd rant didn't imply that. Apple's made plenty of mistakes, but that's hardly an argument against whether or not Android copied iOS, is it?

  • Eric McBride Aug 28, 2012 Link

    WOW. I had no idea this article would go so viral! Thank you guys for helping it spread like wildfire!

    @ CJ - I agree. Considering the trial that Apple just won over Samsung, Google MUST become more aggressive in defending Android now. They really don't have another choice.

    @Apple ain't Scured - Rip off? LOL. Yeah..because IOS and Android are sooooooo alike right? **sarcasm** :-D And if Google was only good at search, they probably wouldn't have majority worldwide marketshare for mobile devices.

    @Rusty - LOL - Welcome to AndroidPIT! I love hearing opinions from all sides, so feel free to discuss!! :-D

    @Neutrality - You really know your stuff! I just wish IOS hardliners would do the same research before making such ridiculous assumptions about Android.

    @ Jason - I'm sorry you feel that way :-D

    @Kolbjørn Barmen - Correct! The source of the issue is the broken patent system, which desperately needs revamped.

    @Henry - LMAO!

    @Rick again - I agree. Anyone who really thinks Android is anything like IOS hasn'T spent enough time using both operating systems. We're talking Apples (no pun intended) and oranges here.

  • SLeepdepD Aug 28, 2012 Link

    Paragraph two: "Thsi isn't Google watching" #typo

  • Eric McBride Aug 28, 2012 Link

    Corrected. Thanks SLeepdepD :-D

  • Jeffrey Bonacci Aug 28, 2012 Link

    I'm not quite sure where Mr. McBride is getting his information, but Wifi patents, since they are standard essential, are actually covered under FRAND. Motorola is taking Apple to court over this issue because Apple refused to pay the price that Motorola was asking for these licenses that Apple thought was exorbitant. They aren't going to court because Apple said "No", they are going to court because Apple said "Sure, but why should we have to pay a premium for these patents?"

    Again, because all of these patents DO fall under FRAND, I contend that Motorola will have a difficult time in court. I'm confident that Apple will be able to prove prior negotiation for all of the patents in question. They have in the past. Look at the Apple vs Nokia case, and you will see what I'm talking about. Will Apple have to pay? Of course they will. Will they have to pay what Motorola WANTED them to pay? I very much doubt it. This isn't much more than a bargaining tactic.

  • Eric McBride Aug 28, 2012 Link

    Hi Jeffrey, and thanks for reading!

    I wrote in the article that it's a "wifi-related" patent, as we don't know the specifics of exactly which patent is in question. WIFI naturally does fall under FRAND, but I still haven't been able to confirm exactly which patent (or non essential patent/s) is in question here. But I completely understand where you're coming from.

    FOSS Patents reports that the the patent in question is for a "sensor controlled user interface for portable communication device" ( U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862), and it seems Google won't get far with this one.

    I will update the article to reflect that.

    Thanks again.

  • CJ Brown Aug 28, 2012 Link

    @ Everyone - a lively debate (which I enjoy) :-)

    It would be easy to point that finger back & forth @ Apple vs Android; but I'm not here to do that ... I am here to see how Google - which owns Motorola - pursues Apple over the royalties they are due for a patent used without consent (according to Motorola) .. It seems that everyone else paid Motorola, except Apple (& now they probably being charged a higher price, because they're being dicks in Court vs being cooperative) ...

    I truly did admire Apple's innovation when Steve Jobs was alive, (I just chose not to be an Apple hipster after trying their various smart phones, laptops, mp3 players, etc & not liking them). Post Steve Jobs? Apple is behaving like a brat ...

    Google isn't Yahoo, Google is thinking beyond Search Engine - Online Mapping (its my opinion that Google is slowly becoming the next Microsoft & this offers Consumers a 3rd Developer to decide upon vs Apple or Microsoft) ...

  • Eric McBride Aug 28, 2012 Link

    Well said CJ! I really like the Google/ Yahoo comparison you made. I also admire what Apple has done for the mobile industry, and am more than open for a nice debate!

  • CJ Brown Aug 28, 2012 Link

    Once upon a time, Eric, it was Yahoo who was looking into being more then a Search Engine (indeed, they pioneered personal email, groups, instant messaging, etc). Yahoo even paved the way for Social Networking (via profile pages). Then Yahoo petered out (& have painfully spiraled downward via poor Management) & I hate to say it .... but Apple is being a Yahoo lately

  • Sapper X Aug 28, 2012 Link

    @Kolbjørn Actually the Apple Newton was not the first PDA go back a few years (1984 to be exact) and look at the Psion I. so Apple did not get first shot on that one, they copied the Psion to make the Newton Messagepad in 1993 (Thats 9 years later then Psion). Then US Robotics bought out Palm Computing and created the Pilot in 1995 I am pretty sure you've heard of Palm right? Which was using a Microsoft style OS not a Apple OS and here is where we are today. Apple is claiming rights to patents they don't own and it's about time that the Patent holders finally get a slice of the bitter Apple. I run an Asus pad with Android and I have an iPhone (an older one because I ain't paying apple twice for the same technology)... I will tell you the Android is much more user friendly and I am not required to connect to some other software to update (iTurds) and to me it's faster and more reliable.

    And for all you Apple fanboys....the door is to the right don't let it hit you where the good Lord split you.

  • CJ Brown Aug 29, 2012 Link

    WIRED Magazine weighing in in the APPLE vs SAMSUNG (actually its more like APPLE vs GOOGLE) -

    pay close attention to the article & the user comments such as :

    "It's ridiculous that Apple applied for UI patents of this nature, but it's more ridiculous that they were granted them."

    "This was a battle of Patents, aimed at Google indirectly. I love Apple products but honestly this is outright embarrassing to see a major US company exploit the Patent system."

    "Steve Jobs also said "Good artists copy, great artists steal"

    "Had Samsung been a "great" artist, they would have "stolen" the essence of Apple's methods of creating a great UI. Then they could have gone to work and created their own great UI - like only Samsung could. The result would likely have been innovative, and this lawsuit would probably not have occurred."

    "So Apple took Xerox's ideas about an icon based computing system and developed it into a commercially viable product. I keep reading claims that Apple stole from Xerox. It can't be true - If Xerox let people see their cool, un-patented ideas for free, then they must have intended to inspire their audience of entrepreneurs. I believe the story that says Xerox got pre-IPO Apple stock in exchange for the ideas. In either case, Apple "shamelessly" "stole" from Xerox in the Picasso fashion, which I call "innovation". IMHO."

    "The point: the same rules must be applied to everyone in order to have a fair market."

    "What we need is an educated populace in touch with technology and science and issues such as this."

  • CJ Brown Aug 29, 2012 Link

    And another article from WIRED magazine :

    Once again, the article & the user comments reveal that this isn't good for Consumers (nor is it good for Developers) ...

    “When companies turn to litigation rather than innovation, consumers lose”

    "It's one small step for Apple and one huge step backward for consumers."

    "I am a Mac computer user (I have been since 1995), but prefer the Samsung Galaxy line for my cell phones... this lawsuit makes me not want to support Apple at all anymore :("

    "Apple wouldn't exist today had it not blatantly stolen Xerox technology early on."

    "Were it true that Apple is so innovative, then why would they need to buy so many patents from third parties?"

    "There's no such thing as truly original ideas, quit fooling yourself. Intellectual property is such a cluelessly arrogant phrase that I'm surprised more people don't laugh immediately anytime it is uttered. Patent law, in its current form at least, is nothing more than inefficiency and a hindrance to progress, not to mention the fact that it encourages monopolies."


    "I got a cease and desist letter from Apple last week when someone photographed me rounding the corners of my lawn when I was mowing it!"

  • Eric McBride Aug 29, 2012 Link

    @ CJ - LMAO! That cease and desist letter bit literally me LOL.

    @Sapper X - This man speaks the truth!

  • David Fox Aug 29, 2012 Link

    The Ohio State University has dibs on the rounded thing anyway: "Round on the ends and Hi in the middle, O-HI-O ..."

  • PainfulHeart Aug 29, 2012 Link

    "...might have to rely on Microsoft for help" know Microsoft....they will just laugh at Apple, Microsoft doesn't want to be dragged into this. When this trial happens, Apple will be alone.

  • Toki Nakamura Aug 30, 2012 Link

    Your article has gone viral becasue it is so well written and eloquent :D

    I'm going to feature it in my sites about iPhone vs Blackberry and Apple vs Samsung, where you can vote and voice your opinion:

    We can already see a war brewing.

  • Ronald Zhu Aug 30, 2012 Link

    I'd like to see Sony join this fight, since Sony now spawns Androids ONLY (meaning it's future mobile products are 100% at stake with its current plans) and Apple originally stole their designs from Sony MP3's and their MP3 technology.

  • CJ Brown Aug 30, 2012 Link


    I agree ... Sony needs to pony up against Apple, it needs to be a group effort that asks our Courts to cease these never ending patent lawsuits ... Consumers gain nothing with Court cases, Consumers gain everything when Companies are left free to be innovative & deliver Consumer Electronic Goods (if your products suck Apple? Then get back in the lab & bring out something new that impresses the masses) ...

  • Eric McBride Aug 30, 2012 Link

    @David - LOL! Ohio is in so much trouble :-D

    @ - PainfulHeart - True..but then again, if they see it as a chance to double team Google to take them down a notch, it could be interesting for them. But again, I think you're right when you say Apple will be on their own.

    @Toki - WOW! Now THAT'S something nobody on Reddit said! Thank you very much for the compliment and for posting it on your sites!

    @Ronald - I would also like to see them join in. They are still quite a powerful company that could very much aid Google in the fight.

    @CJ - Love your attitude CJ.

  • johnathan nop Aug 30, 2012 Link

    I knew it was coming, just the matter of time for Apple. They make moneys and move on, stop being greedy and share the pots. No they want to control and even maybe starting their own wireless company and control all their own products line . But they always been suing their partners when they knew is a treat to them, that their history for them from the start, no innovation but having other companies technologies in their product lines to make it work or else it just a shell that is useless. What a bad business. For Samsung there are far more innovation than Apple and Apple is at it prime. That why Apple is heading to Japan with Sharp mobile with some for supplies and with maybe their technologies and patent it again and restated in apple terms repatent again and than sue them but sharp mobile device is only mostly in Japan. So I won't be surprise if the new iphone be waterproof or what their new technologies might be from sharp. What a company that is at it prime and can complete.

  • Ross Sep 1, 2012 Link

    Here's what they're going after Apple on, Apple just opened Pandora's Box

  • CJ Brown Sep 1, 2012 Link

    thank you for posting Ross ... this link covered all the basis for each patent in question that Google-rola has a right to take Apple to court over ....

  • Eric McBride Sep 3, 2012 Link

    Boah...this whole thing is getting so out of control.

  • CJ Brown Sep 3, 2012 Link

    According to BGR Online, a larger line in the sand between Google & Apple has been drawn ... but there appears to be new negotiations going on between both Companies -

    How Google reworked Android to step around Apple’s deadly ’915 patent? One of the patents Apple asserted in its case against Samsung got attention in the tech media once tech reporters mistakenly believed that it encompassed every single type of “pinch-to-zoom” touchscreen technology. However, as The Verge explains, Apple’s ’915 patent — the so-called pinch-to-zoom patent — is actually fairly limited in scope and has reportedly already been worked around by Google with its latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software update.

    Most crucially for Android manufacturers, Google has designed around the ’915 patent by “allowing you to always pan around in multiple directions with one finger vs Mobile Safari in iOS generally locks you to a one-dimensional scroll when you start moving with one finger.

    Yes, the Apple v. Samsung verdict could force significant redesigns on smart phone hardware and software, but it won’t impose tyrannical restrictions on rival operating systems that will prevent them from using pinch-to-zoom (or other standard smartphone features).

  • CJ Brown Sep 3, 2012 Link

    Reuters: Google and Apple are conducting secret patent settlement talks ...

    Google CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been conducting behind-the-scenes talks regarding the ongoing patent disputes between the two companies (unnamed sources according to Reuters). Page and Cook recently had conversations to discuss various matters involving intellectual property and according to Reuters‘ sources, these talks will continue ...

    Its in Google's best interest to “keep the lines of communication open at a high level” with Apple after their court victory over Samsung. It's Reuters speculating that Google & Apple's Executives could be working on a truce involving disputes over the Android operating system (so far, nobody has confirmed whether their chats might result in a broad, or a more limited settlement) ....

    The report also claims that discussions involving lower-level officials have been ongoing -

  • CJ Brown Sep 3, 2012 Link

    It gets better - HTC plans to fight patent claims, refuses to settle with Apple (now I see why its in Google's best interest to step into this mess & end things)

    Although HTC has been in a patent dispute with Apple since 2010, not even Samsung’s defeat in the U.S. Court is making this Taiwanese Manufacturer step down from settling with Apple. According to the China Post "Chairwoman Cher Wang revealed on Tuesday that HTC is not holding talks with Apple and remains optimistic about future lawsuits", while Cher Wang also noted that Samsung’s courtroom loss is not a setback for the Android ecosystem because “every Company has good innovations” (that's probably one of the most honest quotes from a Company Executive on a long time) ...

    HTC faced its own setback for the summer of 2012 when the launch of its flagship One X Smart Phone was delayed due to an International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation (it was the 1st time Apple’s numerous patent complaints effected a rival in the U.S.) ...

    An initial ruling on the HTC vs Apple case is scheduled for November 7th, 2012

  • Dvoraak Sep 4, 2012 Link

    It's almost a shame that Apple and Google are in talks now. Most of the message board arguments against Apple are complete nonsense but so is Apple's stance. I wouldn't mind seeing Apple products get a ban placed on them, even if only temporarily. They've been incredibly short sighted from the start and that kind of error deserves a smack down.

    I think if I see one more post about the "Great artists steal" quote, my head will start spinning while pea soup spews from my mouth. It's like all the political talking heads taking something out of context and purporting it to be something completely different than what it was.

  • Eric McBride Sep 4, 2012 Link

    I think a ban on Apple products could be one of the best ways of getting them to calm down a bit. I just want to see them catch a taste of their own medicine.

  • Rutger Sep 5, 2012 Link

    I read in a Swedish news paper (Specialized on Economics and bussiness) that the FRAND is more a "gentlemens agreement" than "Free cheap patents" and that the FRNAD-patent holders can retract the license form Apple too cool down the "patent-spiral". I have no idea how this will work, but since it is a well known paper with good knowledge about the market, I doubt that they are completely wrong.

  • Eric McBride Sep 5, 2012 Link

    That's interesting! Is that newspaper available in English? I would be interested in checking out that article.

  • Rutger Sep 5, 2012 Link

    Sorry, but I can't find the article on their website, it's only in the paper-version, and in Swedish.

  • David F Jan 6, 2013 Link

    Just saw this pop up: I'm still totally new to the android world, so I'm kind of playing catch-up on this issue. Love androidpit! Finally an enthusiast site that's worth a d#@&%!