updated 02:58 pm EDT, Tue October 2, 2012
No reason given for sudden action
Motorola Mobility was withdrawn the entirety of its second International Trade Commission complaint against Apple, says FOSS Patents. The move is unexpected, and Motorola provides no explanation for the decision in an official filing. The company says it wants to "terminate all claims in this investigation without prejudice based on Motorola's withdrawal of the complaint, with Motorola and Apple each bearing their own costs and attorneys' fees."
The withdrawal could hint at an impending settlement between the two companies, but such settlements are normally said to be carried out with prejudice. Motorola's motion also indicates that "there are no agreements between Motorola and Apple, written or oral, express or implied, concerning the subject matter of this investigation."
Another explanation may be that Motorola felt its case was too weak to succeed. Had the complaint gone forward, it could theoretically have seen products like iPads and iPhones barred from US import.
Apple and Motorola are still engaged in larger legal battles. The former is thought to be using the courts as a strategic weapon against Google's Android platform, which is increasingly dominant in the smartphone world. Motorola Mobility is in fact now owned by Google, making the Apple v. Motorola lawsuits the closest thing to a direct conflict over Android.