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Apple and Motorola Agree to Drop 14 Patents From Impending Trial

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Google-owned Motorola Mobility and Apple have agreed to drop a combined total of 14 patents from litigation that were part of a Florida lawsuit scheduled to go to trial in 2014. Apple dropped 6 patents in the pending case, while Motorola dropped 8, leaving 8 total patents to be tried in court, reports FOSS Patents.

Yesterday (Monday, July 29 2013) Apple and Motorola filed a stipulation to dismiss a total of 14 patents from the Miami case. Apple had previously dropped two patents (though it reserved some rights subject to what happens on appeal), so the case was down from 24 to 22 patents. Under yesterday’s stipulation, Motorola drops eight patents and Apple withdraws six, restoring parity. Subject to the court’s (very likely) approval of this stipulation, either party will be asserting four patents going forward.

The lawsuit history between the two companies started in October 2010 after Motorola filed a complaint with the ITC accusing Apple of patent infringement, with Motorola seeking to bar Apple from importing, promoting, and distributing its products.

The lawsuit ramped up after Google acquired Motorola, with the company furtherexpanding its charges against Apple. As the scope of the lawsuit grew out of control, the U.S. District Judge in the case, Robert Scola, chastised Apple and Motorola for the dispute, calling it a “business strategy that appears to have no end.”

The two companies were given four months to streamline the case, under the threat of a hold. At this point in time, the two companies will each assert four patents in the Florida dispute, which is set to begin in August of next year.