Apple and Google-owned Motorola Mobility will once again meet in US court on 20 June in a hearing that will cover a dispute over five patents and could result in the sale of some Motorola products being blocked.


Following a tentative dismissal of the case in mid-June due to neither company being able to prove their right for compensation, Judge Richard Posner has granted Apple's request for the 20 June injunction hearing.

Judge Posner said: "I have decided to grant Apple's request, made at the June 7 hearing, for a hearing at which the parties could attempt to satisfy the eBay factors and do a traditional injunction hearing."

Te "eBay factors" spoken of are four factors courts consider in their analysis of whether or not to grant an injunction, named after a 2006 ruling on eBay v MercExchange.

All but one of Motorola's patent claims against Apple have been dismissed in the runup to this Chicago hearing, while Apple still has four of its claims against Motorola Mobility, which was recently acquired by Google for £7.9bn.

Apple is expected to seek sales injunctions against Motorola products that it believes have infringed on its patents, while Motorola may also seek an injunction against the sale of one or more Apple products.

Patent expert, Florian Mueller claims that the case will not be easy for either party to win, due to the fact that Judge Posner was originally inclined to dismiss the entire lawsuit.

"For Motorola it will be even more difficult than for Apple," Mueller says on his blog. "Judge Posner wants Motorola to explain the bearing of FRAND [fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory] on injunctive relief.

"There's been some speculation as to whether the judge just wanted to create a better basis for his ruling with a view to an appeal.".

Early this year Apple, along with Microsoft, accused Motorola of abusing ownership of its standard-essential patents, forcing the EU to investigate.

Opened on 3 April, the two antitrust investigations focus on complaints made by Apple and Microsoft that Motorola is abusing its ownership of patents relating to cellular network standards - for both 2G and 3G - and the H.264 video codec.