The maker of the iPad and iPhone has sued three of the largest manufacturers of Google's Android-based devices -- Samsung, Motorola and HTC -- for multiple patent infringements across multiple countries, pointing out "slavish copying" of design and "look and feel."
While the lawsuits don't take direct aim at the operating software -- yet -- many of the features under contention are connected to and enhanced by it. Apple CEO Steve Jobs once referred to the software as being the soul of any device when he introduced the company's iOS 5 system in June.
Brian Marshall, an analyst with Gleacher & Co, said Apple is starting to flex its patent muscle with some early success but its real battle is with the Android software. 'Apple doesn't really care too much about the actual OEMs.'