It just doesn’t seem that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are ever going to play nice again. The two companies, which are not only battling for the highest stock price crown on the markets, have also now been embroiled in a very large competition for market share in the tablet and smartphone spaces – and it seems to have gotten more than personal. It’s business.
The latest chapter involves Motorola Mobility, the newly acquired handset maker by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GGOG). Motorola has already been in court with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) over patent infringement claims in the past, but Motorola has just filed some new claims, this time with the support of Google and its legal team – which has been very busy. This latest lawsuit was filed with the International Trade Commission and requests an import ban on all iPads, iPhones and Mac computers that feature, most prominently, Siri technology, which Motorola claims violates a couple of its patents. And the suite claims these patents are not “standard-essential” and thus subject to the import ban and also Motorola’s right to claim royalty payments on all devices already sold.
This is the second go-round with Motorola and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) – the decision on the first case could be announced sometime this week. Apple has also won two injunctions against Motorola in the past, but Motorola has found ways to work around those, at least until the underlying issues are resolved.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has participated in its share of battles against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the two companies fight for more market share in the tablet and smartphone market, of which Google’s Android operating system is controlling the smartphone airspace (thanks to Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.), while Apple Inc. owns the tablet market with its iPad. Like other patent lawsuits, don’t expect this to be resolved quickly. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), by most accounts, bought its patent portfolio through acquisitions like Motorola Mobility, and it likely will fight for its investments to the bitter end. It’s Nexus 7 tablet and Android smartphones will hang in the balance.