June 25, 2012
Judge Stands Up To Apple & Motorola, Throws Out Their Case With Prejudice
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com
Well, this isn´t much of a surprise. Judge Posner has thrown out the case between Apple and Motorola with prejudice, meaning neither side can refile this case, though they can appeal the ruling, should they wish to continue pushing Judge Posner´s buttons.
This announcement seems to follow the track this case has been taking thus far. Earlier in the month, Judge Richard Posner (of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) had ruled some testimony of various expert witnesses was “inadmissible” before suggesting he might simply throw the entire matter out altogether. This was, of course, after The Judge had told both Apple and Motorola to slim down their complaints against one another. The Judge finally decided to hear the two companies out last week, starting with Apple. Apparently, Judge Posner didn´t hear anything too convincing, as he´s now thrown out the patent trial altogether.
According to the final ruling, Judge Posner continued his notable sass and sarcasm against the entire case by saying, "It would be ridiculous to dismiss a suit for failure to prove damages and allow the plaintiff to refile the suit so that he could have a second chance to prove damages.”
Both companies received the blunt end of Posner´s ire as he stripped down each in his ruling.
As for Motorola and their attempt to obtain an injunction against Apple for using their FRAND patents, The Judge said, "By committing to license its patents on FRAND terms, Motorola committed to license the [patent] to anyone willing to pay a FRAND royalty and thus implicitly acknowledged that a royalty is adequate compensation for a license to use that patent. How could it do otherwise? How could it be permitted to enjoin Apple from using an invention that it contends Apple must use if it wants to make a cell phone with UMTS telecommunications capability -- without which it would not be a cell phone."
Apple was not left off the hook easily, either. Speaking to Apple´s legal footwork, Posner said, "A patentee cannot base a claim to an injunction on a self-inflicted wound, such as sponsoring a damages expert who prepares a demonstrably inadequate report."
In fact, The Judge seems to think Apple was more upset by the realization that not everyone loves them as much as they love themselves, saying Apple wanted to “turn the case into an Apple versus Motorola popularity contest.” As such, Judge Posner said there was no sufficient evidence of patent infringement based upon Apple´s arguments and claims.
"Apple is claiming 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," he wrote.
Then, in an impressive bump-set-spike setup, The Judge said. "The notion that these minor-seeming infringements have cost Apple market share and consumer goodwill is implausible, has virtually no support in the record, and so fails to indicate that the benefits to Apple from an injunction would exceed the costs to Motorola.”
The Judge is sticking up for a side in these arguments which has been poorly represented: Common sense. Furthermore, he´s doing it with an appropriate amount of sarcasm so as to make sure his point gets across. Last week, Posner spoke against the amount of injunctions being sought by large companies like Apple and Motorola.
“That´s all we need is new actions, new suits, because there´s not enough litigation worldwide between Apple and Android,” quipped Posner.
“You can´t just assume that because someone has a patent, he has some deep moral right to exclude everyone else.”