MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A lawsuit challenging the University of Minnesota's exclusive licensing deal for its hot-selling SweeTango apple is ending with a victory for the school and the orchard in charge of marketing the variety nationwide.

If the judge approves, the lawsuit will be dismissed and the growers who filed it will have to pay $25,000 in legal fees to Pepin Heights Orchard, which leads the cooperative that markets the SweeTango.

Pepin Heights owner Dennis Courtier says he considers the settlement a big victory.

Lisa Lamm Bachman, an attorney for plaintiffs, says they made a business decision to settle rather than appeal a judge's ruling that upheld the university's right to award the exclusive license.

But she also points out the settlement will make more SweeTango trees available to more orchards statewide.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)