October 3, 2012
Google’s Motorola Quietly And Mysteriously Removes ITC Complaint Against Apple
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Tech companies sue one another for patent infringement nearly every day. There are so many of these suits, it can often be difficult just to keep each of them straight. Therefore, it´s quite an occasion whenever a company withdraws their complaint and intention to ban the sale of a device.
Not long ago, Google´s Motorola announced another new patent infringement against Apple with the US International Trade Commission, claiming iPads, iPhones and Macs are infringing on 7 of Motorola´s patents.
According to Bloomberg, this suit involves the usual patent infringement fodder: Location reminders, email notification, video players and, of course, Siri were all said to violate seven of Google´s Motorola´s patents. Should they have been successful, the #iLost originator wanted the ITC to ban these devices for sale in the US, saying Apple´s unwillingness to work out a license left them with no choice but to seek legal action.
On Tuesday, Florian Mueller of the Foss Patents blog noticed Moto had withdrawn this recent claim, the company´s second claim withdrawal against Apple. The ITC had just announced their decision to look into the complaint two weeks ago.
“Under 19 C.F.R. § 210.21(a), Complainants Motorola Mobility LLC, Motorola Mobility Ireland, and Motorola Mobility International Limited (collectively, 'Motorola') hereby move 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,” reads Motorola´s court filing withdrawing the claims.
According to Mueller, himself an expert on these matters, this sort of sudden withdrawal normally indicates a settlement between two parties. Motorola´s admission that neither party had reached an agreement negates this theory, says Mueller. The ITC also requires settling parties to disclose the details of their agreement as well.
Mueller also points out that Motorola could have been having some difficulty tracking down the necessary documents for this case. Motorola also could have been a little hasty in filing this claim after their case was assigned to the strict Judge Theodore Essex.
Apple´s offensive against companies like HTC and Samsung have been widely regarded as little more than an attack against Google´s Android operating system which late Apple CEO Steve Jobs always felt was a direct rip-off of their product. After Apple´s big win against Samsung this summer, Google began making moves to either distance themselves from the fray or repair broken connections.
Shortly after the verdict had been issued in the Apple v Samsung case, Google gave a statement to The Verge, saying: “The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims. Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office.”
Days later, Google´s Larry page was said to be in talks with Apple´s Tim Cook to come to an agreement or settlement about any disputes between the two companies going forward.
“For now it remains a mystery what has led Google to withdraw an entire ITC complaint,” writes Mueller, closing out his post.
“Maybe one or both of the parties will shed some light on the reasons behind this surprise withdrawal when they comment on this filing that was made yesterday and entered the public record today.”