Apple has been banned from pursuing an injunction against Motorola Mobility in a legal ruling which delivers a blow to the manufacturer’s patent war against Google's Android operating system.
The ruling came from Judge Richard Posner in the Chicago federal court last week. Judge Posner dismissed the litigation between Apple and Motorola Mobility with prejudice, which means Apple cannot refile the case.
In his ruling, Posner wrote: ‘Apple is complaining that Motorola's phones as a whole ripped off the iPhone as a whole. But Motorola's desire to sell products that compete with the iPhone is a separate harm – and a perfectly legal one – from any harm caused by patent infringement.’
Apple declined to comment on the ruling. Motorola Mobility said the company was pleased that Posner dismissed Apple's case. Both parties have the option to appeal Posner's ruling.
Apple had sought an injunction barring the sale of Motorola products using Apple's patented technology. But in Friday's ruling, Posner wrote that neither party is entitled to an injunction.
He ruled that since Motorola could design around the minor technological features covered by Apple's patents, an injunction would be an inappropriate windfall for Apple.
Posner also dismissed Apple’s claim that Motorola phones caused a loss of consumer goodwill significant enough for an injunction.
He wrote: ‘To suggest that it has suffered loss of market share, brand recognition, or customer goodwill as a result of Motorola's alleged infringement of the patent claims still in play in this case is wild conjecture.’