The ongoing legal battle between Apple and Motorola Mobility closed one chapter this Friday, as Judge Richard Posner dismissed the case before him, with prejudice. Reuters and AllThingsD have the details. This dismissal means that the dueling lawsuits, covering four Apple patents and one standards-essential Motorola patent, cannot be refiled -- although Apple is likely to appeal.
Both companies apparently failed to adequately demonstrate that injunctive relief would be appropriate, nor did they put solid justifications for damages into play. Judge Posner declined to give Apple a blanket justification for pushing Motorola devices out of the market: "Apple is complaining that Motorola's phones as a whole ripped off the iPhone as a whole... But Motorola's desire to sell products that compete with the iPhone is a separate harm -- and a perfectly legal one -- from any harm caused by patent infringement."
The Motorola side (now owned by Google) was pleased with the ruling, even though Judge Posner was entirely dismissive of the company's argument regarding its responsibilities to fairly and reasonably license patents deemed essential to industry standards (FRAND terms). ATD quotes a Motorola spokesperson: "We are pleased that Judge Posner formally dismissed the case against Motorola Mobility... Apple's litigation campaign began with their attempt to assert 15 patents against us. As it relates to Apple's violation of our patents, we will continue our efforts to defend our own innovation."
As usual, you can get the deepest available dive on the case (as well as scores of other patent actions across the globe) from Florian Mueller's FOSS Patents site.
Photo by JD Hancock | flickr CC