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Some may say this is Google's underhanded way of getting at Apple's patent trolling.
Motorola Mobility filed a new lawsuit against Apple accusing the iPhone maker of infringing on its technology patents -- but to go ahead with the case it first needed to get permission from its soon-to-be parent company Google.
Reuters reported the latest case filed in Federal court Wednesday, which made several analysts familiar with the pending Google-Motorola Mobility acquisition believe that Google had to approve the lawsuit. "Section 5.01(j) of the Google-Motorola merger agreement does not allow MMI to 'assert any Intellectual Property Right in any new Action' without Google's consent (either under the agreement or in a separate document, which is what presumably happened in this case)," according to FOSS Patents.
Google agreed to buy Motorola for $12.5 billion in August, likely to gain its portfolio of patents to battle Apple. The acquisition still hasn't been completed.