Google Gives Motorola OK to Sue Apple

The Motorola complaint is leveled at Apple's iPhone 4S and iCloud.

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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.

The Motorola complaint is leveled at the iPhone 4S and Apple's iCloud remote storage, which Motorola said infringes on its patents relating to antennae, software, data filtering and messaging.
While some may say this is Google's underhanded way of getting at Apple's patent trolling, we would say there's nothing underhanded about it. As of this moment, Motorola isn't technically owned by Google and so the search giant isn't out in front of the lawsuit. 
Google already pays Microsoft $444 million a year for patents, so it doesn't relish paying any more to Apple. Unfortunately, until the U.S. patent system is overhauled by someone who understands technology, we will continue to have these court battles so each company can compete without paying out millions on the basis of a vaguely written piece of paper.
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