A US judge has thrown out Apple's push to ban Motorola smartphones from the country after neither party was able to present evidence of damages.
Judge Richard Posner told the smartphone rivals that neither party is entitled to an injunction.
Apple had failed to prove Android phones would significantly damage the iPhone financially in the US, despite claiming Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility had infringed on 15 of its patents while developing phones with the Android operating system.
Apple later scaled back its claims to four patents, but both parties' tussling had clearly annoyed Judge Posner.
“You can’t go into federal court and say you had a contract with X and X broke it and you’re really annoyed even though you sustained no injury of any sort (in fact you made money because you re-contrated at a higher price) so please give me a judgment for $1 that I can pin on my wall,” he said in his 38 page ruling.
Apple and Motorola are expected to appeal the decision, but cannot file again for the same claims.
The dismissal also means a patent asserted by Motorola against the iPhone will no longer be a threat to Apple.
Motorola initially sued Apple in October 2010, a move that was widely seen as a pre-emptive strike against an imminent Apple lawsuit. Apple filed its own claims against Motorola the same month.
Judge Posner issued a series of pre-trial rulings that eliminated nearly all of Motorola's patent claims against Apple from the prospective trial, while maintaining more of Apple's claims against Motorola.
Apple has had mixed fortunes in its legal campaigns worldwide, as it becomes increasingly embroiled in global intellectual property wars with its competitors, including a court case against Samsung in Australia.
While it has been able to get temporary injunctions preventing the sale of competitors' devices in Australia and Europe, Apple has also suffered mutiple setbacks, including a Dutch court's recent ruling for Apple to pay damages to Samsung in a 3G patent law suit.
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Issue: 335 | January/February 2015
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