updated 11:40 pm EDT, Mon May 14, 2012
Motorola faces 12 patent violations, may counter with six
Apple has won a scheduling victory over Motorola and HTC in the latest round of the giants' patent battles in Florida today. An exasperated judge consolidated the disparate trials, which consist of of patent infringement claims by Apple against both companies and counter-claims from them, in part because of a lack of cooperation between the parties. The new combined trial will take place in April 2014.
Federal Judge Robert N. Scola of the Southern District of Florida approved Apple's consolidation request in spite of the objections from Motorola and HTC. With this rescheduling, Motorola has lost it's chance to enforce any patent suits against Apple in the short term. Motorola is accused of violating 12 Apple patents in this lawsuit, and for the moment, they have a six patent counter-complaint .
Motorola gains the ability to add six other patents that it had filed a separate lawsuit for against Apple in regards to the iPhone 4S and iCloud, potentially bringing the counter-claim total for this suit to 12. HTC benefits by scheduling, as the trial is later than Apple's proposed date of December 2013, and long after Motorola's date of March 2013. HTC had wanted the claims against it moved to Delaware, known for a glacial pace of court hearings.
Judge Scola scolded all three companies today by saying "the parties [Apple, Motorola, HTC] have shown a complete inability to agree upon anything and it is frustrating the progress of these cases." Apple is asserting similar patents in the Northern District of California versus Samsung, which is scheduled to go to trial this summer.