Judge Posner scolds Apple’s lawyers: ‘I’ve had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple’

“Judge Richard A. Posner, the most-cited U.S. legal scholar of the 20th century, is actually a circuit judge (appeals judge) but he is sitting ‘by designation’ on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to preside over an Apple v. Motorola patent lawsuit that will go to trial in June,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

“He’s a character, and he’s outspoken. For example, he called a claim construction proposed by Motorola ‘ridiculous’ and criticized that Motorola’s claim constructions, as submitted at the time, generally weren’t helpful,” Mueller reports. “Now Apple has drawn his ire… ‘I deny the second half of Apple’s motion (seeking prohibition of the deposition) as frivolous and the first half (seeking substitution) as untimely. I’ve had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple. The next such motion, and I shall forbid it to file any motions without first moving for leave to file.'”

Mueller reports, “The motion itself is still sealed. What I understand from the order is that Apple brought a motion to prevent Motorola from deposing a particular expert. Apparently the judge denied a similar with respect to the same expert only a few days before… The sanction that Judge Posner threatens at the end of the passage quoted above could put Apple at a practical (but not substantive) disadvantage relative to Motorola as the case is fast approaching trial. In that event, Apple would have to file a précis letter first in order to seek permission to file an actual motion. That slows things down — and it can ultimately be even more paperwork for the court as well. I guess this is just a warning and I doubt that things will get to that point. If it did happen, it wouldn’t be a disaster for Apple.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]


    1. … telling Apple that their strategy in filing motions related to the Patent Lawsuit seems frivolous. He was NOT telling Apple to stop filing Patent Lawsuits.
      Gotta say, though, that there ought to be a short statute of limitations on such filings, with exemptions allowed.

    2. Again, ramiuseng, your lack of courage to stand by what you say and then hide behind a trite saying “just my $0.02” is a waste of our time and has little value to you or us. Keep it to yourself.

  1. I would imagine that iPhone and it’s 300 plus patents and the fact Apple came to market with a product that has changed the industry on its ass – that nothing filed is FRIVOLOUS.

    Protect the iPhone, iOS, the design, the functionality – everything for it has been copied and continues to be an issue.

    If the judge is tired – RETIRE or pick the cases you wish to work on.

    1. … failed to understand the reference challenged by the judge. He was noticing the piecemeal and overly picky manner Apple was using in proceeding with their case. He was NOT arguing that Apple was bringing too many cases. Apple is REQUIRED to protect its patents, the judge knows this.

      1. What I should have ‘only’ commented on was,
        “IF the circuit Judge Posner is annoyed with Apple – perhaps he should retire?” – Lol. Just being a smart ass.

        I am not sure I FAILED to understand. Definitely it is not about Apple having too many cases on trial. THIS IS ONE CASE – Apple vs Motorola.

        Apple is not being overly picky or piecemeal.
        The lawyer is tired of Apples delays basically.
        Forcing his sanction is rather serious for Apple – they need to comply. “The motion itself is still sealed” – Foss Patents

        Judge Posner believes Apple is making EXCUSES to advance the case by withholding the motion needed for the next step. Without this from Apple, Motorola can not respond. So nothing moves forward on the case. APPLES appears to be BUYING TIME.

        Apples announcement of “Mr, C” situation is seen as FRIVOLOUS to the case. This decision (the Judges threatens) seems premature and one sided; with the motion still sealed, who is to say that Mr. C is important or not in Apples defence. The motion is sealed and prepared but being delayed. I would suspect Apples lawyers know what they are doing.

        1. Waterlily, you don’t understand. The motion is not sealed from the judge viewing it, only from public disclosure. Judge Posner just ruled on the same motion from Apple’s attorneys, which Apple’s attorneys then re-filed a few days later. Poor trial practice. The last thing you want to do as a trial attorney is piss off the judge, which is what Apple is doing here.

          Judge Posner is telling Apple to stop wasting time with re-filed motions which are not timely or which have already been ruled on. And his means of enforcement is to sanction the attorneys, which can be a variety of penalties from monetary fines to requiring them to ask his permission to file another motion.

  2. Somehow I have this sick feeling that Apple will get screwed over by these judges. Google, Samsung and their likes will come out smelling like a rose.

    1. Sad but yes.
      The idea that there must be competition at every cost.

      What bothers me – is Google is an American company claiming it gives the Asian market the free OS – Android… which then sells the world phone which the Asians profit from. Yet their product is nothing without Android. Seems Google is a traitor to American.

      Then we have Apple who is also an American company who produces its own OS and profits on the devices it sells, even though it uses the same Asian company to help build their devices. A healthier situation to me, however, it would seem better to lead the country to a return – where things are made in USA – and complete the economics for Americans.

    2. You mean like they have been screwing Apple over for the last year and a half? Competitors stall, obfuscate and flood Apple with superfluous documents written in Korean and all the while they’re still knocking off Apple. They’ll continue to work around Apple’s patents – one by one if they’re found to be infringing – until Apple gives up or the courts put more skin in the game. As it stands, Apple is fighting a losing battle.

    3. It’s probably why SJ/Apple team have been building such a huge war chest. They know that if they fight, it will be one guy against the conglomerate of worldwide iHaters.

  3. http://www.electronista.com/articles/12/05/01/steve.jobs.anti.android.views.could.influence.court/

    If Tim Cooks settles – it allows Samsung to continue. And I feel Tim says this in a way to ease the matter but does not really mean he is back down. Prove you are not stealing and we can settle.

    Samsung can produce and clone faster then Apple can crank out one design a year. But it’s not Samsung who really is the problem; its Googles Android. Kill the Robot and Samsung will need to develop its own OS.

    Buy into Sharp more Apple. There must be another production house to produce iDevices.

  4. I tend to agree, but what about the other show dropping now? How about the outrage and concern over the frivolous filings against Apple?

    Just sayin’

    1. +10

      same goes for the rise or fall of Apple stock
      – I prefer to read other news.

      There is a choice
      – we can click on what we wish to read – right?

      MDN is just providing NEWS and his spin. It’s his blog.

  5. don’t you love how judge, famous or not, esteemed or not, expert or not, gets pissed at Apple?!

    wtf. he’s supposed to be nonjudgmental, a neutral god of society. maybe he’s a sex change on his period?!

    to all those pissed at Apple/iSteve:
    1. you lawyers created the patent laws yet you reject your own medicine to society?!
    2. if you find Apple patents “frivolous” why do you single out Apple, since all competitors wish to patent the same triviality if you find one
    3. if you find Apple patents frivolous, we the people, find your job or position frivolous
    4. if competitors did their job, thought, were creative, not lazy desperadoes or idiots, and if you mr judge, were not bribable or more civil & really just, you wouldn’t argue here
    5. mr judge, get a life, leave justice & logic to the CrazyOnes ; )
    6. how is Apple unfair – it does all the r&d, the spending, the time, yet all copy & apple is the frivolous one? proof Apple’s products/patents are not frivolous: give me one competitor who has outdone Apple or created more than 1 influential product category, if not single product within a category!

    vas te faire f…tu l’a besoin ; )

    1. He is not pissed at Apple. He has no problem with the idea of patents, and is not complaining about Apple’s filing of IP lawsuits. He does not find Apple’s patents frivolous. He is not expressing a belief that Motorola (let alone any other companies are in the right).

      He is the judge on one of Apple’s patent cases. He finds some specific legal tactics employed by Apple’s legal team on some specific procedural issues of that case to be difficult to justify. That’s it.

      To repeat – this is a note to Apple’s legal team about specific legal tactics concerning the handling of a specific part of the case. Judges do this all the time. Lawyers expect it because it is their job to always test what they can get away with procedurally. This is not news. Yes, Posner tends to use colourful language, and yes it is about Apple, but you might as well be complaining about the quality of the pastries served at some mid-level coordinatory meeting between Apple and Foxconn.

    2. Stop being blinded by your Apple love, millereves. The judge is not stating anything about Apple’s case or its claims; he is tired of Apple’s lawyers filing frivolous and repetitive motions which do nothing but waste the court’s time and delay the resolution of the case.

      Think about how you feel at your work if you have someone who reports to you and is told they can’t do something, but yet they continue to ask for it. That’s what is happening here. The judge is telling Apple’s attorneys “I’ve already said No, so don’t ask for this again or I’ll have to punish you.”

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