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Motorola Mobility withdraws bid to ban Apple devices in the US

02 Oct 2012
Motorola Mobility headquarters logo

Motorola Mobility has dropped its International Trade Commission (ITC) patent complaint against Apple.

Motorola has yet to offer a statement on why it's dropped its complaint. However, analysts speculate that the appointment of a new ITC judge may have affected the decision.

"Motorola Mobility hereby moves to terminate all claims in this investigation without prejudice based on Motorola's withdrawal of the complaint, with Motorola and Apple each bearing their own costs and attorneys' fees," Motorola said in its filing.

Motorola Mobility's decision to drop its complaint follows the ITC decision to investigate whether Apple infringed on Motorola patents during the production of its mobile devices.

Google-owned Motorola Mobility had claimed that Apple used its patented technology in iPhone and iPad products. If Motorola Mobility's claims had been held up, the ITC may have banned a number of Apple devices in the US.

Motorola has yet to give a reason for its decision to drop the charges. However, patent blogger Florian Mueller suggested the decision may have, in part, been affect by the recent appoint of judge Theodore Essex to cover the case.

"Just yesterday, the case was reassigned to administrative law judge Theodore Essex. Judge Essex was also in charge of the investigation of Microsoft's ITC complaint against Motorola and of some other recent cases," wrote Mueller in a blog post.

"In my observation, he doesn't make things easy for complainants. Maybe it's not just a coincidence that Motorola withdrew its complaint shortly after his appointment."

Mueller also points out that Motorola Mobility's decision may have been affected by the company's inability to gather all the necessary court documents in time for the case. The patent blogger suggested that Motorola may be rethinking its strategy and will resubmit its case at a later date.

Motorola Mobility made clear in its filing that the decision was not made because of an agreement with Apple. Despite recent reports of a peace talk between Google and Apple, no agreements are in place according to the filing.

"There are no agreements between Motorola and Apple, written or oral, express or implied, concerning the subject matter of this investigation," Motorola continued in its filing.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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