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Apple Sues Motorola Mobility to Block Patent Claims in Germany

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. sued Motorola Mobility Inc. in a bid to block Motorola’s patent infringement claims against Apple in Germany.

Apple, in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in San Diego, said Motorola’s German suit is based on claims that Apple’s use of Qualcomm Inc. components in the iPhone4S violates Motorola’s European patent. The German suit, Apple claims, is a breach of a patent-licensing agreement between Motorola and Qualcomm.

“As a Qualcomm customer, Apple is a third-party beneficiary of that contract,” Apple said in the complaint. Apple asked the court to block Motorola’s suit in Germany.

Motorola Mobility Holdings is a maker of handsets and set-top box devices that work with televisions based in Libertyville, Illinois. The company has won two rulings against Apple in Germany, and yesterday failed to win a third in a patent case involving the use of mathematical sequences in mobile telecommunications.

The Regional Court in Mannheim rejected the suit, ruling Motorola Mobility didn’t show that Apple is violating the patent. More cases between the two are pending in German courts, including a bid by Motorola Mobility to enforce its first win from December, which forced Apple to briefly remove some older iPhones and iPad models from its online store in Germany last week.

Google Acquisition

Google Inc., the world’s largest Internet-search company, is competing with Cupertino, California-based Apple and trying to lessen its dependence on search-related advertising for growth with a push into consumer electronics through a $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings. That deal hasn’t yet closed.

Motorola, in a statement, said it declined to comment about details of the litigation, adding “we will continue to vigorously protect our intellectual property.”

The case is Apple Inc. v. Motorola Mobility Inc., 12-CV-0355, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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