A federal judge dismissed Apple's patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola Friday at the most recent in a series of hearings that have pitted the companies against one another since 2010.
Judge Richard Posner, of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois in Chicago, ruled that "neither party is entitled to an injunction," calling Motorola's Android and
other touch-screen smart phones appropriately competitive products, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
"Apple is complaining that Motorola's phones as a whole ripped off the iPhone as a whole," Posner wrote in his June 22 opinion. (Read full text at Engadget.) "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."
Posner's dismissal of the claim with prejudice will prevent either side from refiling the suit, effectively silencing the standoff that began with Motorola's preemptive strike against Apple in October 2010. Both parties have the option to appeal the ruling.
Motorola's patent claims against Apple were almost entirely ruled out during a series of pre-trial decisions, while more of Apple's claims against Motorola went through; as a result, the Cupertino-based technology company had more to gain, the Chicago Tribune reports. But on Friday, Posner said neither company was entitled to an injunction.
Apple has not commented on the ruling, but Motorola issued the following statement, according to The Verge:
We are pleased that Judge Posner formally dismissed the case against Motorola Mobility. Apple's litigation campaign began with their attempt to assert 15 patents against us. As it relates to Apple's violation of our patents, we will continue our efforts to defend our own innovation.
Correction: The original version of this story stated that Judge Posner dismissed the case without prejudice. In fact, the case was dismissed with prejudice, preventing either side from refiling the suit.