Motorola Mobility has filed a new lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against Apple, asserting six patents against the iPhone 4S and iCloud. As noted by FOSS Patents, the merger agreement between Google and Motorola Mobility requires the company to get Google's permission before asserting "any Intellectual Property Right in any new Action". As a result, this lawsuit is the closest Apple and Google have come to direct litigation.
All six patents are asserted against the iPhone 4S, with four ('119, '006, '531, and '161) asserted against iCloud. The patents Apple is charged with violating, as assembled by FOSS Patents, are:
U.S. Patent No. 5,710,987 on a "receiver having concealed external antenna"
U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119 on a "multiple pager status synchronization system and method"; Motorola is asserting the European equivalent of this patent against Apple in Mannheim, with a decision (that will likely be favorable for Motorola) scheduled for Friday of next week (February 3, 2012)
U.S. Patent No. 5,958,006 on a "method and apparatus for communicating summarized data"
U.S. Patent No. 6,101,531 on a "system for communicating user-selected criteria filter prepared at wireless client to communication server for filtering data transferred from host to said wireless client"
U.S. Patent No. 6,008,737 on an "apparatus for controlling utilization of software added to a portable communication device"
U.S. Patent No. 6,377,161 on a "method and apparatus in a wireless messaging system for facilitating an exchange of address information"
On its face, the lawsuit is fairly unexceptional -- one of many lawsuits flying around the mobile sector -- but as Google needed to sign off before it could be filed, it could be a signal of the direction Google intends to head if its proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility is successful.