Some very interesting legal news surfaced this morning in regard to a Motorola patent suit against Apple at the ITC. The lawsuit in question was filed back in August, and sought import bans on almost every Apple product currently manufactured based on seven Motorola patents. It had barely entered the preliminary stages before Motorola voluntarily sought for the case to be dismissed today.

Motorola provided no reasoning for the request, which is basically a matter of procedure - it will be granted. This suit had at play IP that may have been "second tier" in terms of legal firepower, but the actions Motorola asked of the ITC because of Apple's alleged infringement were certainly nothing to scoff at.

So, why has Motorola asked for such a dismissal? It's extremely difficult to say. It's entirely possible that there has been some sort of procedural snafu that Moto's counsel only recently became aware of, requiring a complete re-filing of the case at a later date. This can happen with complex lawsuits - someone can't find the appropriate documents after weeks of feverishly digging through musty banker boxes in some dank warehouse. Or there was a serious strategic misstep in assessing the strength of Motorola's patents. It really is impossible to know at this point.

The other obvious possibility that by now is of elephant-in-the-room proportions in your mind is settlement. Have Google and Apple negotiated a ceasefire? That may be a little too optimistic, given that if such a deal happened, Motorola would be required to disclose that in its filing. Now, it's certainly feasible that, in some high-level, closed door talks, there were suggestions that if a certain company were to drop a certain lawsuit, perhaps, as a gesture of good faith, more substantive dialogue could be opened. I wouldn't for a moment discount such a scenario as within the realm of reason.

But, I also know that lawsuits are complex machinations, not just of filings and documents, but venue choice, timing, and other strategic elements. It's clear that, for some reason, Motorola or its counsel had a change of heart. It's just not clear why.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • DavidKeith

    orrr they are just waiting for some more firepower to refile...

  • http://twitter.com/Darkmyth_pt Darkmyth PT

    Apple found something aggainst them and made them back off or else...

    • NexusKoolaid

      Or else what? They'll sue? That ship has sailed my friend.

    • Danny Holyoake

      If that were true Apple would simply counter-sue. Something bigger is happening here.

  • Abhigyan Banerjee

    I'm guessing that Apple didn't have enough firepower to stop Moto from suing their ass off. Perhaps, that also explains the closed door talks between Google and Apple executives that were reported a while back. If a ceasefire is indeed the outcome, it's great news for Android and the consumer. The lawsuits were getting pretty insane.

    Whatever be the reasoning, here's hoping there's only positives to take out of this.

  • Levi Wilcox

    Refile to include the iphone5

    • Robert Jakiel

      Don't need to refile to include the iPhone 5 as the complaint can just be amended,

      • Levi Wilcox

        unless it infringes upon different patents...

  • http://twitter.com/_ThaNerd_ _ThaNerd_

    I'm sure something big is cooking, it won't be this easy for Apple after all they did...

  • Kindroid

    Google and Samsung had a summit meeting on Android patent suits a while back. I would put my money on this being part of the strategy that came out of those meetings.

  • http://twitter.com/whatisajimmy ok

    "Don't be evil" at work? Google won't sue them, why would they want a subsidiary to?

  • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

    It's about time something MASSIVE happens in the tech industry. Massive. What if two or more companies merged to fight a 3rd force? Who should Apple buy with their war chest?

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    The fosspatents site is paid for by Microsoft and Oracle among probably other anti-Google corporations, you shouldn't write law related articles based on their propaganda.

  • Klaus

    moto has just recently lost a lawsuit regarding wifi patents against Apple in Germany.maybe Google is losing faith in it's patent and stepped back in order to avoid the shame..

  • Owen Finn

    DAMN IT. Take Apple DOWN! Don't let up! Arrrrrgh!

  • DanielM426

    Sounds like an agreement was made. After all, that moto patent would've been devastating for apple (disguised antenna I believe)

  • Arpit

    Disappointed with Google. How can they do this, Don't they we fans how much we hate Apple for their stupid lies and brags.

  • Xeno

    Big pile of shit like apple have their backs backed up by big assets and who can say that there is no criminal stuff involved in this. Big companies like this will do anything to get away from going under or suffer any damage. Big companies go and do killings, Conspiracy theory, remember. Some serious shit is going on, but sooner or later the pin will come out of sack.

  • dimwit

    Apple BUYS Google! :O

  • CJ Vanilla

    Stop linking to Fosspatents. Im not sure why you would want any of that disgrace on this site.