A US District Court in Madison, Wisconsin has thrown out a major smartphone patent lawsuit by Apple against Google hardware subsidiary Motorola Mobility.
In the lawsuit, Apple claimed that Google, through its subsidiary Motorola, was abusing patents covering key aspects of mobile phone technology by not licensing them on FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) terms.
Apple sought a court order forcing Google/Motorola to license those key patents to Apple for a particular price, possibly along with punitive damages. The court mandated “fair deal” price on Google would not be binding on Apple, meaning that it could reject licensing the patents at the court mandated “fair deal” price and continue negotiations
According to Groklaw, US District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb has dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning that while Apple can appeal the verdict to a higher court, the case is over at the trial court level.
We’re pleased that the court has dismissed Apple’s lawsuit with prejudice,” a Google spokesperson says in a statement.
“Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards,” the spokeswoman continued. “We remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple.”
The verdict marks the second time an Apple patent lawsuit against Google and Motorola has been dismissed with prejudice, with a lawsuit dismissed by Judge Posner in the US Court of Appeals during June. Judge Posner later described the US patent system as being in a “state of chaos”.