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Apple Suing Motorola Over Design of Xoom Tablet


While Apple has been engaged in a number of high-profile patent lawsuits with its competitors offering Android-based hardware, one of the quieter disputes has gained new attention today following a discovery by FOSS Patents that Apple has in fact sued Motorola in Europe, claiming that the Motorola Xoom tablet infringes upon the design of Apple's products. The revelation comes in a court document filed in Germany and associated with the preliminary injunction granted against Samsung yesterday barring sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Prior to or simultaneously with the motion for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, Apple also filed a complaint with the same court over the design of the Motorola Xoom tablet. Here's a passage from the Samsung complaint that mentions two other lawsuits Apple instigated against iPad competitors -- Motorola and a local German company named JAY-tech...
The document does not state whether Apple has pushed for a preliminary injunction against the sale of the Xoom in the European Union as it did for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but Apple is presumably seeking a more permanent injunction against Motorola's tablet offering.


Apple also notes in its filing that a preliminary injunction against JAY-tech was granted and further upheld "in its entirety" following a hearing. Apple does not specify exactly what model of tablet from JAY-tech was the subject of the injunction, but JAY-tech last year began offering a budget 7-inch Android-based tablet, and the company no longer appears to be selling that product.

Motorola fired the first shot against Apple last October, claiming infringement of a series of 18 Motorola patents by a broad array of Apple's Mac and iOS products. Apple responded a few weeks later with a lawsuit focused on multi-touch functionality and targeting Motorola's Droid and other smartphones.

Things have generally been quiet between Apple and Motorola since the initial filings last year, but today's revelation makes clear that Apple has continued to press its case and gone on the offensive against not only Motorola's smartphones but also its tablets.

Top Rated Comments

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41 months ago
I don't think the Xoom looks all that much like iOS, but that Jay Tech crap is a straight rip off. Look at the dock!
Rating: 23 Votes
41 months ago
Rating: 18 Votes
41 months ago
Is Apple going to sue everyone who makes a tablet that's a rectangle?

Wait nvm, after looking at the pics again that jay-tech company totes deserves to be sued.
Rating: 15 Votes
41 months ago

Everyone is suing everyone else for patent infringement. Why don't they mutually agree to either open all the patents--thus paving the way for true innovation and exciting new products, or just pay each other royalties? It will probably all come out even in the end.


Because it won't encourage innovation. Why would Apple continue to innovate if other companies are allowed to sit back and copy what Apple did attempting to reap the benefit of the time and money Apple put into R&D?
Rating: 10 Votes
41 months ago
Anyone else notice that since MacRumors started posting these patent disputes as front page news that:

1) posts are a lot more aggressive with the conflicting nature of Apple v whoever

2) fanboys are out on both sides and there is little constructive debate (see posts above of, "can't innovate, litigate" versus "can't innovate, copy")

3) people simply don't understand either the complex nature of patent litigation, or believe they know it all. This leads to people thinking one side has 'won', when in reality, both sides will settle and continue their commercial relationships.

I believe we need a 'page 2' for this type of news, where interested parties can head. Right now, our community can look a tad ridiculous arguing over complex patent disputes as if we have the inside scoop.
Rating: 10 Votes
41 months ago

Because it won't encourage innovation. Why would Apple continue to innovate if other companies are allowed to sit back and copy what Apple did attempting to reap the benefit of the time and money Apple put into R&D?


I don't feel like the current patent troll climate (in software or hardware) encourages innovation at all. You may have the next best thing in apps, hardware, or whatever, but because of some ridiculous patent like "clicking a link that communicated with a server" (or some other insane stuff) people either get sued into oblivion or simply find another job.

Often the little guys are the ones who are squashed or simply threatened like a geek oriented episode of the Sopranos.
Rating: 8 Votes
41 months ago

This is getting ridiculous.

Did Apple patent rectangle or touch screen? Anyone else other than Steve Jobs notice any resemblance between Xoom and iPad?:rolleyes:


Good question. But don't be lazy. The contents of Apple's design patents has been published on the internet, and no, I'm not going to google it for you.


When you can't innovate, litigate.

You mean: When you can't innovate, copy. And Motorola seems to have started this litigation.


I'm not sure how you can not copy the iPad somewhat, touchscreen ...check, rectangular shape ...check, cameras ...check. speaker ...check. etc. etc.


Google for Apple's design patents. What Apple has protected is very, very specific. And I bet you that Jon Ive would have no problem creating another tablet that is no copy of the iPad or iPad 2. He's probably going to call it "iPad 3". There is a story about Raymond Loewy, who was hired by a company whose design for some machine had been copied by a competitor. The competitor claimed in court that due to the function of the machine, it was unavoidable to copy the original design. Loewy appeared in court and showed the judge three completely different designs.
Rating: 8 Votes
41 months ago

The Xoom looks nothing like an iPad. Android looks nothing like iOS. When you can't innovate, litigate.


If it wasn't for Apple there wouldn't be a Xoom...
Rating: 8 Votes
41 months ago

Good question. But don't be lazy. The contents of Apple's design patents has been published on the internet, and no, I'm not going to google it for you.



You mean: When you can't innovate, copy. And Motorola seems to have started this litigation.




Copy? There are only so many ways you can design a tablet. It would be like Ford suing Chevy for building a car with 4 wheels and an engine. But the OS is what really matters, and Honeycomb doesn't look a thing like iOS. If you see any resemblance to iOS in that screenshot, you're blind.
Rating: 7 Votes
41 months ago
I think I’m going to rush to judgement and pick sides BEFORE I know exactly what aspects of the Xoom are the specific alleged problem. Assumptions over facts, simplicity over detail! Who’s with me? :)
Rating: 7 Votes

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