TABLET AND SMARTPHONE MAKER Apple has filed a motion to stay a lawsuit launched against it by Motorola Mobility, claiming that Google's acquisition of the company means Motorola has forfeited its right to sue.
The lawsuit was filed by Motorola in the Soutern District of Florida. Apple reportedly backed up its claim by also filing a motion to stay its own counter-suit against Motorola in the Western District of Wisconsin.
In relation to Motorola's lawsuit, Apple claims that it "should not have to face the threat of an injunction based on the claims of a party that now has no standing to bring those claims."
It continues, "Apple will be expending enormous resources litigating claims against a party that does not have standing."
The issue of legal standing relates to Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility in mid August for $12.5bn. The company has 17,000 patents and 7,500 additional patents awaiting approval, giving Motorola, and now Google, an extensive patent portfolio with which to go after Apple.
It is an important point that Apple wants to put its own case on hold, because if it simply asked for Motorola's case to be stayed while still pursuing its own, the courts would likely reject its request. Other cases between the two companies are already on hold due to US International Trade Commission investigations.
It ia also interesting that Apple is willing to sacrifice its case, as it suggests that it might not feel that confident of winning it and could be fearful of the potential outcome of Motorola's case. If Apple is found to have infringed multiple patents its products could suffer as much as Samsung's are currently suffering in Germany and other regions, thanks to an Apple requested bans.
However, if Apple succeeds in getting the case temporarily closed down, it does not necessarily protect it from being sued over the Motorola Mobility patents, as Google can easily launch a new lawsuit once it completes the acquisition. Apple could also sue Google, putting the two companies in direct litigation over their lucrative smartphone and tablet empires.
Motorola Mobility's extensive patent collection is seen as the primary reason why Google decided to buy it, in an effort to protect its Android operating system, which has come under threat through various lawsuits against its partners by Apple. If the Motorola cases are ultimately dismissed it is likely that Google will launch its own lawsuit against Apple, unless perhaps Apple drops its cases against companies like HTC and Samsung, which are key Google partners. µ