Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility has withdrawn its entire second International Trade Commission complaint against Apple.
The surprising move was confirmed by an intellectual property expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. First filed during mid-August, the ITC confirmed a month later that it would investigate the complaint.
It seems the reason for the withdrawal will be shrouded in mystery, though, as Motorola did not detail why it withdrew its ITC complaint. The firm's filing explained that it wished to "terminate all claims in this investigation without prejudice based on Motorola's withdrawal of the complaint." Both Motorola and Apple paid for their own legal costs and attorneys' fees.
Mueller stressed that the "simplest explanation" for the withdrawing of the complaint would be a global settlement deal being reached between the two technology firms.
"This could still be a unilateral goodwill gesture on Google's part toward Apple if high-level settlement talks are progressing well," Mueller stated. "But it could also be a tactical decision involving a plan to reassert the same claims in a federal court."
He added that, in his opinion, it's likely that parent company Google believed the complaint was unlikely to ultimately succeed with the ITC, but the decision is a "mystery". If the complaint was to rule in Motorola's favor, it could have led to the sale of the iPhone 5 being banned within the U.S.