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Judge to hear arguments in Apple patent case against Motorola Mobility

The ruling may affect Apple’s ability to negotiate favorable licensing agreements

A turning point may be on the horizon for Apple’s patent war against Google’s Android smartphone operating system. An important hearing is taking place today in Chicago, where Judge Richard Posner will consider Apple’s argument that it should be allowed to seek an order that bars the sale of some smartphones made by Motorola Mobility.

Apple has long contended that the Android operating system infringes its intellectual property. The company’s previous CEO Steve Jobs is on the record accusing Google of “grand theft.”

Even though Apple is well-known to be in the warpath, it was actually Motorola who struck first in this particular battle, suing the iPhone maker in October 2010. Apple quickly fired back with its own claims.

A lot is riding on Posner’s decision. A favorable ruling for Apple would mean the company could negotiate advantageous licensing agreements in its fight against Motorola as well as in legal battles with other competitors such as Samsung.

In pretrial rulings, Posner dismissed most of Motorola’s patent claims, and allowed more of Apple’s claims to stand. Things were looking good for Apple going into the trial, which was set to start last week, before Posner canceled it, saying neither side could prove damages.

Even so, Posner granted Apple’s request for today’s hearing on a potential injunction. Motorola may also request an injunction against Apple for the one patent claim that it has left in the race.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of Apple’s patent wars, see below:

Steve Jobs’ quotes allowed in Apple-Google patent trial

Apple gains ground in patent suit against Google’s mobile operating system

iPad trademark battle continues in China

Apple asks judge's permission to sue bankrupt Kodak for patent infringement

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