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Google Wants to Ban iPhone Import In US

It doesn’t matter if you are holding a full house, a smoking gun always beats it. With Motorola Mobility now a part of Google, the connection between MMI’s patent infringement lawsuits targeting Apple, are now public. Google is behind them and wants the iPhone banned from the US. And admittedly, they have had some success, despite major public interest concerns in the industry. ITC has affirmed Apple products infringe US Patent No. 6,246,697, declared essential to 3G/UMTS.

Apple's iPhone 3GS and earlier likely to face US import ban
However, according to Florian Müller of Foss Patents, it turns out that Googlorola’s success in only partial. The iPhone 4S and the new iPad 4G won’t be affected by the ITC Judge’s ruling. Florian states that “Motorola has agreed that Apple’s CMDA2000 cellular devices which operate on Verizon’s cellular network, are not accused in this Investigation. This is likely to avoid litigating a dispute over whether Apple’s CMDA2000 baseband chip provider (Qualcomm) has a license to the ‘697 patent, an issue being litigated in another forum.“ He goes on to mention an Apple vs. Motorola lawsuit, where Apple argues against Motorola’s similar claims.

Apple argues that Qualcomm, Apple’s baseband chip provider, has a license contract with Motorola for relevant patents. That makes MMI’s claims irrelevant in this particular case. Interestingly, Motorola sent a termination notice to Qualcomm back in January 2011, in an attempt to keep Apple from being able to make that claim. Judge Sabraw, the federal judge presiding over the patent exhaustion lawsuit in the Southern District of California, provided detailed guidelines to help them refile again.

As Florian Müller point out, Googlorola is trying to get the patent exhaustion lawsuit dismissed rather than—at least for now—targeting an immediate ban of the most popular iPhone 4S and New iPad. From a sales and revenue perspective, the iPhone accounts for 50%+ of Apple’s revenue. That means any import ban targeting its most popular smartphone means disaster for Apple. Stay tuned however, because this is just the warm-up for the second round of the 13-round iPhone vs Android boxing fight. [Via Foss Patents]

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