In a filing on Monday, Apple and Google's Motorola agreed to drop a combined 14 patents from a Florida case slated to go to trial in 2014, narrowing claims to a total of 8 patents-in-suit.
The decision to pare down the Miami trial's assertions leaves each company with four patents in play, down from a high of 24 patents and hundreds of claims and counterclaims, reports FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller.
In Monday's stipulation, which has yet to be accepted by the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Motorola dismissed 8 patents, while Apple dropped 6 properties. The Cupertino company dropped two patents prior to the joint order filing.
Mueller notes that presiding Judge Robert N. Scola pushed the trial schedule back four months due to the parties' inability to agree on how to narrow the scope of the case without input from the court. In April, the jurist accused both Motorola and Apple of using the court system as a "business strategy" rather than a means to settle their dispute.
The parties dismissed about half of the patents with prejudice, though reassertions of those properties are only barred from being used against products and services related to this particular case and identical actions. This leaves a door open for future infringement claims against different products or services.
As Mueller points out, the companies are focusing on patents that are of strategic value, not those which may yield high damages. Apple, for example, is leveraging a patent for missed phone call management, while Motorola is asserting a property it used in Germany to block iCloud push notifications for one year. That ruling was ultimately stayed in April by the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court.
A complete list of the patents dismissed and those still part of the suit can be found below.