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One of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) many lawsuits against Android vendors has gone down in flames.
Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin has dismissed, with prejudice, Apple's breach of contract suit against Motorola Mobility, which is now a wholly owned division of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) .
Motorola and Apple crossed swords through 500 court filings over 20 months, since the case spilled over from an International Trade Commission complaint in 2011. Apple wanted the court to establish fair and reasonable royalty rates on Motorola's standards-essential patents. Motorola argued that this would be a misuse of the judicial process. This lawsuit has attracted plenty of press coverage because it could have had implications on the legal system's role in setting standards-essential patent rates.
Today's action settles the matter with authority: Judge Crabb "finds that case can not proceed to trial on remaining issue," according to courtroom minutes. The complaint has been dismissed with prejudice, meaning Apple can't refile the claim. The company is free to send the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The dismissal came just minutes before the jury trial was scheduled to start.