updated 03:35 pm EST, Wed January 25, 2012
Motorola lawsuit swings to newer Apple releases
Motorola has escalated its countering campaign against Apple with a new lawsuit in Florida. Filed Tuesday but only made public today, the complaint focuses on more recent releases and alleges that both the iPhone 4S and iCloud violate six of its patents. These include basics such as having a hidden external antenna, communicating filtered data, managing use, and a "pager status" sync patent also used in Motorola's German actions.
All six target the iPhone 4S, while all but the antenna and use management patents are also leveled against iCloud.
Motorola may be banking on the new lawsuit as leverage at a point when it may have enough going in its favor. Along with winning an early verdict in Germany, it fended off Apple's ITC complaint in the US. By targeting more recent components, the new lawsuit would have a better chance of reaching a preliminary or permanent verdict while the iPhone 4S is still on shelves, instead of withdrawn as an old model.
The attack is also a hedge for Motorola to possibly get cash. It's currently struggling to compete with Apple in actual products and is still hoping that the proposed Google takeover clears to give it a safety net. A decision on the merger is hoped for early this year, but could face opposition from antitrust regulators and could change who manages the lawsuits.