US judge blocks Apple in Google smartphone war
CHICAGO, June 22 — A US judge on Friday ruled that Apple Inc cannot pursue an injunction against Google's Motorola Mobility unit, effectively ending a key case for the iPhone maker in the smartphone patent wars.
The ruling came from Judge Richard Posner in Chicago federal court. He dismissed the litigation between Apple and Motorola Mobility with prejudice, meaning it can't be refiled.
The ruling is a blow for Apple, which had hoped a decisive ruling against Motorola would help it gain an upper hand in the smartphone market against Android.
A representative for Apple declined to comment. Motorola did not immediately return requests for comment Friday evening.
Motorola sued Apple in October 2010, a move that was widely seen as a preemptive strike against an imminent Apple lawsuit. Apple filed its own claims against Motorola the same month.
Posner issued a series of pretrial rulings that eliminated nearly all of Motorola's patent claims against Apple from the prospective trial, while maintaining more of Apple's claims against Motorola. That meant Apple had more to gain in the trial, which had been set to start last week.
However, Posner cancelled the trial earlier this month.
Apple had sought an injunction barring the sale of Motorola products. But in Friday's ruling, Posner wrote that "neither party is entitled to an injunction."
Both parties have the option to appeal Posner's ruling.
The case is Apple Inc. and NeXT Software Inc. V. Motorola Inc. and Motorola Mobility Inc., in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, no. 11-08540. — Reuters