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Motorola Complains About RIM to ITC

Motorola Inc. (MOT) on Friday asked the International Trade Commission (ITC) to bar rival Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) from importing and selling BlackBerry products in the United States.

The two competitors have been at each other’s legal throats since early 2008 – each claims patent infringement by the other. Motorola – which has been losing market share to RIM over the past few years – says RIM is illegally profiting from five of its patents; it did not tell the ITC, however, which BlackBerry models reportedly infringe on its intellectual property. The Illinois-based telecom device maker did say, though, the patents relate to its Wi-Fi access, application and power management, and user interface technologies.

One of Motorola’s head lawyers also said the company had little alternative but to complain to the ITC.

“In light of RIM’s continued unlicensed use of Motorola’s patents, RIM’s use of delay tactics in our current patent litigation, and RIM’s refusal to design out Motorola’s proprietary technology, Motorola had no choice but to file a complaint with the ITC to halt RIM’s continued infringement,” Jonathan Meyer, senior vice president of intellectual property law at Motorola, said in a prepared statement.

Motorola filed its allegations with the ITC seven months after a judge put the dual lawsuits on hold for a U.S Patent and Trademark Office review. Motorola requested several courses of action from the ITC: an investigation into RIM’s use of Motorola’s patents; an order blocking RIM from importing devices and selling the ones already in the country; and forcing RIM to stop marketing, demonstrating and warehousing its inventory for distribution in the United States.

A RIM spokeswoman said the company typically does not comment on litigation.

Both Motorola and RIM shares were trading slightly higher in after-hours activity.


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