Two notices of dismissal have been filed with the courts -- Microsoft's in Washington State, and TomTom's in Virginia, each dismissed without prejudice, ending both patent litigations. "Without prejudice" means that either could ramp it up and do this some more in the future, should circumstances arise that made it necessary. But in most cases, it means the litigation, or whatever, is over. Remember when SCO withdrew "without prejudice" its emergency motion to sell its assets, or Novell's assets, depending on your point of view? We never saw that again, did we, despite it being withdrawn "without prejudice".
Since the Microsoft-TomTom agreement supposedly promises Microsoft and TomTom won't sue the other for 5 years, I am guessing that this is protection just in case somebody ... anybody... should fail to stick to the agreement's terms. Not that *that* could ever happen with an agreement with Microsoft. No doubt you've followed the company's history, so you know their word is their bond. It's what they are famous for, business ethics. But you know how picky lawyers are. They like to plan for any contingency, however unlikely.
But in some distant alternate universe, where Microsoft might be kicking competitors to the curb by hook or by crook, were Microsoft to sue TomTom despite promising not to, TomTom could pull out its complaint. Similarly, if TomTom failed to do what it has promised, presumably Microsoft might be interested in trying to rip TomTom's face off in resumed litigation. So to speak. Not that this one worked out very well for Microsoft,
as I see it, but since Microsoft is apparently unable to change any spots, I assume they'd try to butt their head through the same brick wall again.
The docket entries now, first in
Microsoft v. TomTom:
04/02/2009 - 14 - NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal of case by Plaintiff Microsoft Corporation (Wichman, Adam) (Entered: 04/02/2009)
TomTom v MS:
04/02/2009 - ***Civil Case Terminated. This case is dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Plaintiff's notice of voluntary dismissal (Dkt. # 14 ) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(i). No defendant has filed either an answer or a motion for summary judgment. (CL) (Entered: 04/02/2009)
04/02/2009 - 7 - NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by TomTom Global Assets B.V. (Corrado, John) (Entered: 04/02/2009)