Apple sues Motorola, claims its patents were copied

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A smartphone rivalry has scaled to the highest legal level.

Apple ( APPL ) filed two federal infringement lawsuits against Motorola ( MOT ) this past Friday, claiming the Illinois company ripped off its intellectual property by duplicating iPhone services in its Multi-Touch product line. The lawsuits covering six patents - three patents per suit - were filed in the Western District of Wisconsin.

Apple takes issue with "smartphones and associated software, including operating systems, user interfaces, and other application software designed for use on, and loaded onto such devices," the complaint states . It is seeking damages in the form of royalties from sales of the phone.

Apple typically is very protective of its products' technology as iPhone sales represent 39 percent of the company's earnings. Chief operating officer Tim Cook warned the industry during a 2009 financial conference : "we like competition as long as they don't rip off our IP. And if they do, we will go after anyone who does."

Apple recently jumped ahead of Research In Motion ( RIMM ) to stake out the number four spot on the top five list.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Business
Referenced Symbols: APPL , MOT , RIMM

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