Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had a setback on Monday when a U.S. district court judge threw out its patent abuse lawsuit against Motorola Mobility just hours before the trial was set to start, with the judge questioning her authority to hear the claim.
The iPhone Maker, which has been resorting to legal means to place itself in an advantageous position in the smartphone segment by accusing others of violating its designs, had claimed that Motorola's licensing practices were unfair.
The issue was over a library of patents that Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) had acquired when it purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in May.
Predictably Google was pleased with the verdict though Apple did not make any comments on it, though in a legal brief filed after Judge Barbara Crabb passed her ruling, Apple said that the judge did have the authority to hear the claims.
Both Apple and Microsoft have been engaged in patent battles across the world against rivals such as Samsung who have partnered with Google and use its Android operating system to run their devices.
These are seen as proxy wars being waged by the two companies where the real target is Google.
While Apple has yet to take on Google directly it has always contended that its Android operating system is a copy of its proprietary operating system iOS. Microsoft, on its part, has said that many of the patents it holds cover a number of Android features.
Apple and Microsoft accuse Google of demanding too high a royalty for some of its so-called standard essential patents. Motorola promised to license those patents on fair terms, they argue, in exchange for Motorola technology being adopted as an industry standard.