Google says Apple patent suit dismissed


Internet giant’s handset arm Motorola keen to strike deal with bitter rival.

A patent lawsuit brought by Apple Inc. against rival Google Inc.’s Motorola unit in Wisconsin has been dismissed, adding another wrinkle to the ongoing intellectual-property dispute between the Silicon Valley firms.

According to courtroom minutes filed Monday, the case in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin will not proceed to trial and has been “dismissed with prejudice.”

A Google spokeswoman said the company is pleased, adding:”Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards. We remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Google closed its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility earlier this year. The move brought Google a line of mobile phones it could begin tailoring more closely to its software, and a trove of wireless patents.

Some of that intellectual property has been at the heart of disputes with Apple, a relative newcomer to the mobile phone business that has complained about Motorola’s alleged misuse of so-called standards-essential patents deemed crucial for the broader industry.

The litigation in Wisconsin has revolved around standards-essential patents. Apple has alleged in the case that Motorola has refused to license such patents on fair and reasonable terms.

In a brief filed over the weekend, Motorola argues that Apple “has built its profitable business on technology standards that others developed.” The Google unit adds that it has “always tried to reach agreement” with Apple on patent-licensing terms.

In its own brief, Apple notes that it, too, has some standards-essential patents. The company says that it has been disputing licensing rates with Motorola since Apple first released the iPhone in 2007.

Apple and Motorola have tussled in a number of legal forums over intellectual property, including at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Last month, Google’s Motorola unit withdrew a patent claim made against Apple at the U.S. ITC, though it did not offer an explanation as to why. That case did not involve standards-essential patents.