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The patent wars rages on in the smartphone and tablet markets and the latest salvo comes from none other than Motorola Mobility, which is currently in the process of being acquired by Google. On Wednesday, the company filed yet another patent lawsuit against Apple, seeking an injunction against the iPhone 4S and iCloud. The patents involve technologies related to wireless antennae, software, data filtering and messaging.
These are the same patents cited by Motorola in a previous lawsuit filed in late 2010. However, that case is already far along, with a trial scheduled for this summer, and the presiding judge rejected Motorola's supplemental claims as untimely, but said the company could file a separate lawsuit.
The filing follows a preliminary decision issued earlier this month by the U.S. International Trade Commission that Motorola did not violate Apple patents in another case Apple brought against Motorola. Prior to that, Motorola scored a substantial win in Germany that could lead to a sales ban on Apple devices.
What's interesting about this latest filing against Apple is that the buyout agreement between Motorola and Google stipulates that Motorola cannot start a new lawsuit over intellectual property without Google's blessing.
This would mark the first time Google is directly involved in a lawsuit against Apple, even though court battles between Apple and Android device makers have been going on for a while. If Motorola can pull off a victory in the U.S. it would likely fortify Android's legal standing and justify Google's $12.5 billion bid for Motorola.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The iPad 2 improves on the original in many ways, including a significantly faster dual-core CPU, improved graphics and a thinner footprint. The iPad 2 also manages to shave off 0.2 pounds for a total weight of 1.33 pounds on the Wi-Fi only model. Apple has included two cameras on the iPad 2 – a VGA-quality front facing lens for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.
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