Apple and Motorola Mobility, owned by Google, are seeking arbitration on part of their patent disputes. The two companies would agree to a binding arbitration in order to reach a licensing agreement over standards-essential patents
Motorola Mobility has filed suit again Apple with the International Trade Commission (ITC) over patents reportedly related to Apple's personal digital assistant feature, Siri and more. Patent suits between Apple and various Android manufacturers are a dime a dozen these days, but what makes this one stand out is that a) Google now owns Motorola, b) Google previously tried to manipulate public sentiment by claiming Apple sought to litigate instead of innovate, c) Google is now litigating.
Chicago judge Richard Posner has thrown out Apple and Motorola's jury trial set to start next Monday, calling their patent claims "frivolous" and "ridiculous". Posner had previously forbidden Apple from turning the case into a "popularity contest", which is certainly fair given the experts that Apple is prone to dragging out for these kinds of cases.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked during Apple's Q2 2012 conference call how he felt about ongoing patent litigation, and whether he might be more open to a settlement or resolution than his predecessor, Steve Jobs might have been. Cooks answer was pretty much the same now as it was before he became CEO -- he doesn't like litigation, but he also doesn't like other companies using what he feels are Apple innovations to sell competing products.
According to some EU court documents, Motorola and Apple had talked about hashing out a licensing deal in late 2011. Given their rough and ongoing patent battles, it's no surprise to hear Apple claim in the documents that their "refusal to accede to this demand led Motorola Mobility to sue Apple in an attempt to exclude Apple’s products from the market.”
Motorola and Apple are still duking it out in courts over a wide variety patents, but recently Apple made a significant step towards victory. A U.S. judge in Chicago ruled that information about Google's acquisition of Motorola is a key part of Apple's claims against Motorola. The ruling also means that Apple we get some key information about the development of Android, and potentially find other cases of infringement there.