Google's Motorola unit drops one trade case against Apple

Motorola Mobility had tried to block importation of iPhones, iPads and iPods to the U.S. less than two months ago

Google has dropped one part of its wide-ranging patent-infringement battle against Apple, withdrawing a complaint to the U.S. International Trade Commission in which it had sought to block iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch models at the border.

Google's Motorola Mobility business filed the complaint on Aug. 18, alleging Apple had infringed seven patents for functions such as email notifications and media players. Motorola asked the ITC to outlaw the importation of Apple products that infringed the patents.

In the withdrawal filing, dated Monday, Motorola Mobility said it had not settled the dispute with Apple, and it asked to drop the complaint "without prejudice," meaning it could decide to pursue it again later.

The August complaint is just one of several cases in which Google is going up against Apple through the Motorola unit, which it finished acquiring in May. The companies are also battling in courts in the U.S. and Europe. In a separate case before the ITC, the commission ruled on Aug. 24 that Apple did not infringe three Motorola patents. It passed the question of a fourth patent on to an administrative law judge.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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