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Google gives the OK for Motorola to sue Apple over Iphone 4S

Getting closer to a direct confrontation
Thu Jan 26 2012, 16:05

ADVERTISING BROKER Google seems to have given its blessing for Motorola to forge ahead with a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple.

Motorola Mobility, which is set to become part of Google, has alleged Apple infringed six patents with its Iphone 4S. The patents include one which is entitled "Receiver having concealed external antenna", something that could describe pretty much every mobile phone on sale today.

Apple and Motorola have had prior legal clashes with the two firms already locked in a bitter patent battle that is set to reach trial later this year. Motorola had initially tried to get patent claims against the latest Iphone 4S added to that lawsuit, however the judge rejected that, offering Motorola the chance to file another lawsuit. At this point it is not clear if, or when, those latest claims will end up in court.

According to patents gadfly Florian Mueller, Motorola's actions must have had Google's blessing due to the merger agreement signed by the two firms. Mueller cited that the agreement does not allow Motorola to "assert any Intellectual Property Right in any new Action" without Google's permission.

Google's thumbs up to Motorola is the surest sign yet that Apple and Google will eventually end up fighting each other rather than using handset makers as their pawns. µ


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