Apple (AAPL) has just lost an important battle in its ongoing efforts to gain leverage in the smartphone patent wars. Judge Barbara Crabb, of the Western District of Wisconsin threw out on Monday Apple’s patent case against Google (GOOG)’s Motorola Mobility unit, saying that the “case can not proceed to trial on remaining issue,” and dismissing it with prejudice.
Apple, which filed suit against Motorola Mobility in March 2011 after Google’s subsidiary sought 2.25% of all net sales on iOS products that use certain fundamental mobile patents it owns, was accusing Motorola of violating patent laws, claiming that Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by the search giant last May for $12.5 billion, was demanding too high a royalty and wasn’t licensing its technology on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” rates.
Apple’s attorneys previously said that they would be willing to pay Motorola up to $1 per iPhone unit to license Motorola’s “standard-essential wireless” patents pertaining to basic cellular and WiFi technology. However, they also said that they would not agree to be bound by the rate if it was more than $1 per unit.
In Madison, Wisconsin, the trial was scheduled to begin Monday afternoon, but the judge dismissed the case during a morning hearing.
According to blog ‘Foss Patents‘, which was first to report the judge’s decision, “the only way Apple can [now revive its case] is through an appeal (but not through refiling in another U.S. district court).”
A Google spokeswoman said the company was “pleased that the court has dismissed Apple’s lawsuit with prejudice,” that “Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards” and that the company remained “interested in reaching an agreement with Apple.”
Apple has declined to comment.
Shares of Google closed Monday’s regular trading session down $4.96, or 0.72 percent, to $682.96. Apple gained $7.82, or 1.36 percent, to $584.62.