Apple Looks To Postpone Motorola Patent Suits Courtesy Of Googorola Deal

Along with that sushi, Apple has a lot on its plate. The company has been battling Samsung since April in one of the most widespread patent wars ever, but many forget that Apple and Motorola Mobility have been duking it out for the past year. Motorola started it, and then Apple fired back with some multitouch patents, and the back-and-forth never ends.

The point? Apple has asked to postpone two of the ongoing cases in the U.S. — one in the Southern District of Florida and the other in the Western District of Wisconsin arguing that Moto has lost its “standing.”

This has everything to do with the Googorola deal. When Google announced its proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Motorola effectively lost a great deal of control over its patents, reports CNET. That means litigating or settling in these patent suits is kind of out of the question. Apple’s official statement:

To further its pending acquisition by Google, Motorola has surrendered critical rights in the patents-in-suit, such that Motorola no longer has prudential standing to pursue this action. According to the publicly-filed Merger Agreement, Motorola has ceded control of the most basic rights regarding the patents-in-suit. Absent Google’s consent, Motorola cannot: (1) sue for infringement of its patents in any new action; (2) settle pending litigation (including this case) that would require a license to any of its patents; (3) license or sublicense its patents except in limited circumstances relating to the sale of Motorola’s products; (4) assign its rights in its patents; and/or (5) grant a covenant not to sue for infringement of its patents.

In other words, Motorola can’t really continue on in its suits with Apple. And if it could, Apple would be at an unfair advantage, says Apple.

Let’s say Motorola wins. Then Apple would not only spend a huge amount of money litigating against a party with no standing, but the company would also face an injunction brought upon it by a party with (again) no standing. Let’s say Apple wins. In that case Apple lawyers say, “[Apple] risks an attack on its victory on appeal by a third party, whether Google or another Android smartphone manufacturer, contending that the judgment should be overturned due to a lack of prudential standing,”

It’s hard to tell whether Apple’s request to postpone will be granted, but responses from Motorola are expected shortly.