Apple, Motorola Mobility patent trial scrapped by U.S. Judge [UPDATED]

“Apple Inc.’s patent-infringement trial against Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit set for June 11 was canceled by a federal judge who rejected damage arguments by both sides,” Andrew Harris reports for Bloomberg. “‘You have to prove injury,’ U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner today told the companies’ lawyers at the end of what was to be the last pretrial conference. ‘I’m sorry that it seems to be petering out like this.'”

“Posner’s ruling scraps what would have been the first patent trial between them since Mountain View, California-based Google completed its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. last month,” Harris reports. “Apple had accused Motorola of infringing four of its mobile phone and tablet computer-related patents, while Motorola was pursuing a single similar claim against Apple.”

Harris reports, “Posner said he was still considering whether to go forward with an Apple request for injunctive relief and that he would issue a decision later today. The case is Apple Inc. v. Motorola Inc., 11-cv-8540, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).”

Read more in the full article here.

Florian Mueller writes for FOSS Patents, “Judge Posner had previously tossed both parties’ damages claims and said at the beginning of today’s pretrial conference that the parties weren’t entitled to damages, so he canceled the jury trial that was scheduled to begin next Monday. But it’s important to understand that the cancelation of a jury trial isn’t necessarily the end of a lawsuit.”

“A jury is needed only if damages have to be determined in the event of a finding of liability for infringement, but it’s not needed for a decision on whether or not to grant an injunction,” Mueller writes. “Damages are a remedy at law, while injunctive relief is an equitable remedy. Equitable remedies are decided by judges, not juries. Therefore, if only equitable remedies are at issue in a lawsuit, there’s no need for a jury even in connection with the question of liability (infringement, validity etc.).”

Mueller writes, “The judge has not yet decided on whether the parties are entitled to injunctive relief. He is now thinking about this and will enter a written order at a later time. If he decides that injunctive relief is a possibility with respect to one or more patents (Apple has four patents in play, as compared to one Motorola FRAND patent), then there could still be a bench trial (the parties would present their witnesses and make their arguments in front of Judge Posner… For now, let’s wait and see. Judge Posner’s written order will show the way.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: 4:11pm EDT: Updated the original article with more information along with the Mueller excerpts.


    1. I don’t know man the Oracle trial was pretty much a slam dunk in Google’s favor from the beginning. I mean the same legal team that Oracle used failed with the same arguments in a large portion of the SCO Linux trials years ago. I think anyone could have won that trial against Oracle with minimal work.

      Its possible google has put together a solid legal team but I think its too early to tell.

    2. There are two kinds of legal remedies for this kind of thing. If there are no existing damages, but possible future damages, or if the amount of damages can’t be proven an alternative remedy is equitable relief. Equitable relief puts the parties back where they were before anyone was injured.

      If Posner intended to do nothing along the lines of equitable relief, then without credible damages, he’d have thrown out the whole thing and it would be over. That’s not what he did. He threw out the claims of palpable, provable damages, but kept the lawsuit in play. That says to me that he has equitable relief (injunctive relief) in mind. We will see.

    1. Correct.

      Plus, it will be decided by a judge not a jury. To many idiots in one room trying to decide on something. Hell, I can’t even get three people in one house to come to a decision on trivial things like food for god sakes.

  1. Apple is used to fighting these uphill battles. Ever since Microsoft stole the OS look and feel and the masses jumped onboard the inferior platform, Apple just has to get innovative and double down on getting its message across to the creative leading edge crowd.

  2. Yay, another useless trial. But wait, is a chance something might happen later. Yeah, right. This must be the 100th time I’ve heard it.

    If Apple ever wins a major trial (and I don’t mean against a company or product that sells negligible numbers and loses money) then I’ll happily eat my words. Until then, cheaters and thieves continue to prosper.

  3. Google doesn’t need to pay anyone off. Remember the business they are in, aggregating the worlds knowlage. Anything that has made its way onto the Internet. Has been filterd through Gooles servers, so if there is or has been any dirt on anyone of influence Goole has it.

  4. No damages – come on, thats a lose to Apple for sure.
    Apple needs a big win soon.

    Here you have an American product, with America patents, being tired in the courts of America and Apple is losing to all who are involved with Android. Samsung, Motorola and Google keep winning in small strides. I fear Apple is done in the court room.

    1. Hey CowGirl!

      “No damages – come on, thats a lose to Apple for sure.”

      Have you read the Steve Jobs biography? He said that he didn’t want money … he wants other companies to stop selling products that copy Apple’s ideas.

      So an injunction, which is still a live issue, would be exactly what Steve wanted.  An award that allows Samsung to continue selling products (such as a forced licensing fee would do) would NOt be a win from Steve’s perspective.

  5. Apple will never win any of these lawsuits, the judge in every case wants both sides to settle for 50/50 split no matter what merits of the case are. Google and Samdung can on that outcome every time.

  6. Apple will never win any of these lawsuits, the judge in every case wants both sides to settle for 50/50 split no matter what merits the of the case are. Google and Samdung can count on that outcome every time.

  7. Posner is supposed to be some kind of Conservative Genius (kind of like the Loch Ness Monster- more a myth than reality). Doesn’t look so much like it now.

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