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Motorola after an injunction against iPhone 4S, iCloud

Motorola has filed a new patent suit against Apple and now seeks an injunction against both the iPhone 4S and iCloud. FOSS Patents notes that the terms of Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola stipulate that Motorola can't initiate new intellectual property suits without Google's approval; that makes it sound a lot like Google is using Motorola's patent portfolio in a proxy war against Apple.

Motorola already has one patent suit against Apple in progress, but that suit is too far along in the judicial process for the company to stack on the iPhone 4S and iCloud. Motorola has asserted six patents in its claim against Apple; all six are asserted against the iPhone 4S, and four are claimed to apply to iCloud.

Companies seeking sales injunctions against rivals in patent suits may be an attention-grabbing move, but in fact those injunctions rarely go through. To date, no company has successfully gained a sales injunction against Apple despite numerous attempts, and Apple's own attempts to get injunctions against its rivals have also rarely succeeded.

What's most interesting about Motorola's move is that it's occurred with Google's approval. Apple's suits against various Android handset manufacturers have often been viewed as a suit against Google itself in all but name, and from the beginning it's seemed inevitable that we'll see Apple v. Google on a docket eventually. With Google in the process of acquiring Motorola and giving its consent to new suits against Apple, that may happen quite soon.