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Apple’s patent abuse lawsuit against Motorola has been dismissed

A lawsuit brought against Motorola by Apple has been dismissed by a court in Wisconsin, even before the trial had the chance to get underway. Instead, it took a week of pre-trial motions and a two-hour hearing on Monday morning, for Judge Barbara Crabb to cancel proceedings with prejudice. This gives Apple the chance to appeal, but only in the same court.

Apple was claiming that Motorola was abusing the patent system (oh, the irony) by asking unreasonably high license fees, and more than it charged other companies, for some key Wi-Fi and cellular patents used in the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

Motorola’s fee is 2.25-percent of the price of each Apple device sold that uses the technology. Apple, however, only wanted to pay a fraction of that amount, stating $1 per future device was its magic number.

Following the dismissal, Motorola issued a statement saying “We’re pleased that the court has dismissed Apple’s lawsuit with prejudice. Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards.” It also adds that it’s “interested in reaching an agreement with Apple.”

Google-owned Motorola needs to be careful though, as it’s parent company is in-line for an antitrust lawsuit, should be it discovered withholding patents to stifle competition. Apple, on the other hand, is back to square one, with an appeal likely on the way.

This is the second Apple vs. Motorola lawsuit to be thrown out this year. Last time out, Apple accused Motorola of copying the design of the iPhone for its Android handsets, however Judge Richard Posner dismissed it in June after deciding neither company adequately made its case. At the time, Motorola tried to get this dispute with Apple enjoined, but the Judge refused.