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June 8, 2012

US judge tentatively dismisses Apple-Google patent trial

Tentatively decides that the case should be dismissed with the prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief

By CBR Staff Writer

A US district judge has dismissed a trial in the patent case between Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility after rejecting both sides’ damages arguments.

In a "tentative" decision, US District Judge Richard Posner closed down proceedings scheduled to begin on June 11, which could have been the first between the companies following Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

In a two page order the judge ruled, "I have tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief."

The judge added that he would delay entering final judgment until he writes a lengthier decision, according to Bloomberg.

Posner also noted that he will come out with a full opinion in about next week.

He said injunctions against infringements would impose costs disproportionate to the harm to the patentee and the benefit of the alleged infringement to the alleged infringer and would be contrary to the public interest.

"We are pleased by the Illinois trial court’s tentative ruling today dismissing Apple’s patent claims and look forward to receiving the full decision," Google said in a statement.

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The dispute stems after Apple launched a lawsuit against Motorola alleging infringement of four patents related to the smartphone and set-top TV-box, some of which are used in Motorola’s Droid-branded mobile phones and in its Xoom tablet.

Motorola then countersued Apple alleging that the company infringed its patents.

Apple and Motorola are fighting patent cases in multiple courts including in Germany.

In 2011, Motorola won against Apple in a German patent dispute.

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