updated 07:00 pm EDT, Tue October 4, 2011
Judge says Google merger not enough to stop Moto
Apple has been denied its two motions to stay Motorola's lawsuits over the Google-Motorola merger. Both a Florida court ruling late last week and a Wisconsin ruling on Monday decided that the right to have a lawsuit over patent infringement trumped concerns that Motorola's claims might be invalidated in the change of hands to Google. The Wisconsin judge also disagreed with Apple's belief that Google needed to be involved in the lawsuit for it to continue as-is and thus that needed to be stayed.
Under the terms of Google's $12.5 billion deal, Motorola would lose the right to settle a lawsuit under the merger and still casts doubt on the long-term prospects of Motorola's complaints, which were leveled first against Apple in October last year. Google might have the option of picking up the complaint but risks losing the image it has tried to create of itself as an innocent victim of Apple and Microsoft.
Stays in either case would have potentially set legal precedents for others, suggesting that changes of corporate ownership would be enough for dismissal.
Apple already has its own countering lawsuits and has been expanding its reach to include design complaints. As in most countering lawsuits, the goal is to raise the stakes enough that one party either loses or is afraid of losing and opts to settle rather than risk a permanent product ban. [via Florian Mueller]