US judge ruled out Apple to follow injunction against Motorola unit.

AppleA US judge on Friday ruled that Apple Inc cannot follow an injunction against Google’s Motorola Mobility unit, effectively ending a key case for the iPhone maker in the smartphone patent wars.

The ruling came from Judge Richard Posner in Chicago federal court. He dismissed the lawsuit between Apple and Motorola Mobility with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled.

Posner wrote that “Apple is complaining that Motorola’s phones as a whole ripped off the iPhone as a whole. 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.”

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet declined to comment on the ruling. Motorola Mobility spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said that the company was delighted that Posner dismissed Apple’s case.

Motorola sued Apple in October 2010, a move that was extensively seen as a pre-emptive strike against a forthcoming Apple lawsuit. Apple filed its own claims against Motorola the similar month.

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