A federal judge has tossed out an Apple lawsuit accusing Google-owned Motorola Mobility of trying to charge the iPhone maker too much for licences to essential technology for mobile devices.

US District Court Judge Barbara Crabb yesterday dismissed the case after a week of pre-trial legal wrangling that evidently convinced her that the matter was headed for prolonged litigation instead of earnest resolution.

Apple filed suit against Motorola Mobility early last year after Motorola claimed it was due 2.25 per cent royalty on sales of devices powered by iOS software, using patented Wi-Fi and video technology.

Apple argued that the price was too high because the technology was in a category considered industry—essential and therefore had to be licensed under terms that are “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” (FRAND).

Crabb sided with Apple regarding the FRAND status of the Motorola technology but dismissed the case yesterday, when the trial was to begin, after Apple placed conditions on whether it would accept licence terms set by the judge.

“The case cannot proceed to trial on the remaining issue; case dismissed,” Crabb wrote in her ruling.

Apple can appeal the judge’s decision.

Motorola Mobility said in a statement, ““We’re pleased that the court has dismissed Apple’s lawsuit with prejudice.

Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive standards-essential patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards. We remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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