Motorola Mobility has withdrawn a patent infringement suit filed against Apple with the International Trade Commission. This move has taken a few of us by surprise as in the patents game, one doesn’t expect a company to show mercy unless there’s valid reasoning behind it. So far, neither of the two companies have said anything about this, but we can expect to learn more in the coming days. The original complaint filed by Motorola alleged Apple of infringing on about 7 of its patents. Motorola expected to have a word with Apple after filing the suit to discuss licensing these patents, but that didn’t seem to have happened.
The reason for Motorola backing out is still unknown but we can speculate that it could be trying to buy some time for itself to further substantiate its claims in the form of proper paperwork and proof. According to FOSS Patents, the judge hearing the case, who goes by the name Theodore Essex, is pretty blunt on complainants, which could partially explain the hesitance on Motorola’s part. Regardless, this move has stunned the entire tech industry and Motorola should come out clean as to what actually transpired with its filings. Motorola’s filing claimed patent infringement related to email notifications, voice commands, video players etc. So it seems to mostly pertaining to the software and UI.
In a case filed by Motorola at the Washington Trade Agency (WTA), Apple was cleared of three allegations while the jury is still out on a fourth patent infringement claim. A decision on this will be taken on December 21, apparently. The WTA has the authority to ban imports of infringing products into the country. The refuting of the three patent allegations can be seen as a major setback for Motorola Mobility. Perhaps if both the companies decided to have talks instead of dragging each other to the court rooms, we wouldn’t see this day. As we said, Motorola originally intended to license these patents, but Apple wasn’t in the mood for that. Let’s hope this lawsuit sees a resolution soon, as Motorola is the complainant and not Apple for a change.