Motorola's 18 patents key to Google fighting Apple lawsuits

Of Motorola Mobility's (NYSE:MMI) more than 17,000 patents, a group of 18 could be most useful to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) effort to stymie litigation that targets the Android platform.

Motorola's inventions go back to 1994 and are critical to three Motorola lawsuits against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), David Mixon, a patent lawyer at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, told Bloomberg. The patents cover critical technology that includes location services, antenna designs, email transmission, touch-screen motions, software-application management and 3G wireless.

Google is hoping that its $12.5-billion purchase of Motorola Mobility will strengthen its patent position as Apple and Microsoft continue to challenge Android. Google has been issued less than 1,000 patents since the start of the year, and Motorola would add another 17,000 and 7,500 pending applications.

Ron Epstein, CEO of Epicenter IP Group, told Bloomberg that the balance of power is now shifting toward Google now that it has purchased Motorola. As such, he believes settlements and cross-licensing will become inevitable.

Other analysts believe that Apple is still likely to continue its pursuit of patent battles against HTC and Samsung. "This is war," said Peter Misek, an analyst with Jefferies & Co.

Apple has filed its own patent-infringement complaints against Motorola in October at U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in federal court. It also has a civil suit against Motorola accusing the company of "a pattern of unfair, deceptive and anticompetitive conduct."

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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