Apple, Motorola should just play nice and pay royalties, suggests judge

“Apple’s quest for an injunction against Motorola for alleged patent infringement could have ‘catastrophic’ results, according to a federal judge,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica.

“The comments came up during a Wednesday afternoon hearing in Chicago, where Judge Richard Posner listened to arguments from Apple as to why an injunction is necessary to prevent Motorola from infringing on Apple’s mobile device patents,” Cheng reports. “No decision was made at the hearing, but Judge Posner’s comments show that he would rather force the companies to play nice and pay royalties instead of taking their patent war to the next level.”

Cheng reports, “According to Reuters, Posner described the US patent system as ‘chaos”‘ (and the man’s not wrong). He further said restricting the sale of Motorola phones would have “catastrophic effects” on both the mobile device market and consumers. But Apple’s attorney, Matthew Powers, argued the company doesn’t want to bar the sale of Motorola’s devices. Instead, Motorola could simply remove the technology that Apple claims to have patented from its handsets. Posner didn’t quite buy it—he suggested it could be better if Motorola simply pays Apple a compulsory royalty.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple doesn’t want royalties, they want justice (for once).

Judge Posner might want to read the following quotes before proceeding, lest he be thought the fool:

I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want. – Steve Jobs to Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt, at a Palo Alto, California cafe, March 26, 2010

I’ve always hated litigation, and I continue to hate it. We just want people to invent their own stuff. And so if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we could be assured that’s the case and a fair settlement on the stuff that’s occurred, I would highly prefer to settle versus battle. But it — the key thing is that it’s very important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff. – Apple CEO Tim Cook, April 24, 2012


  1. How about this judge: don’t force apple to be the free or very super cheap research firm for the rest of the world.

    Catastrophic is when an American firms crown jewels are allowed to be easily and cheaply copied by a Korean firm, Samsung and then all our high paying jobs get shipped over there.

    I find it outrageous that a judge wants to protect firms using Android to rip off Apple to get away with toothless royalty fee.

      1. He’s the hero of a badly written novel that has evidently become some sort of sacred document, venerated by those who choose to ignore the fact that the author was a generally unsavory person who referred to altruism as a “basic evil”, and who espoused the belief that any form of socialism is bad, while managing to exhibit the moral flexibility required to accept Social Security and Medicare benefits.

        Why do you ask?

    1. It’s unfortunate that for jurisdictional reasons this suit had to filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Motorola’s home. But, generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to mess with Judge Posner. He has both the intellectual firepower and the libertarian prefences that play well with the current majority in the US Supreme Court.

      1. After reading that Posner is well-respected, I’d mistakenly imagined that he would understand what is at stake. With his notion that apple should just give up its innovations and be forced to license them, it tells me he doesn’t understand the issues he’s supposed to judge. The legal system here is a mess, at least as big a mess as the patent system he’s complaining about. And he’s part of the problem.

  2. This statement from Judge Posner appears to put Apple in a very strong position in negotiations with Moto/Google. He’s a great judge, and Apple will get a fair hearing from him.

    Apple has rights, but so does Posner. He was within his rights to comment from the bench, especially in a case that he’s responsible for judging.

  3. ” “catastrophic effects” on both the mobile device market and consumers.”

    The judge is wrong. Making them remove stolen ideas from their devices will have little to no effect on the device market or the consumer. Motoogle will make the necessary changes if force ONLY and it will not change how many devices they “ship”. The consumer will continue to have the right to choose which they would rather use. The free-tards will continue to settle for 2nd best because that’s how they are, that’s how they roll, it’s their DNA. They are spotted dogs, they will always be spotted dogs.

    He’s being a pussy and doesn’t want to lay down the law and hidding behind protecting the consumer bullshit.

    You never know, It might actually help Motoogle because they may actually have an original thought.

  4. Look, Judge Posner, if you want Apple to continue being the R&D engine that benefits customers of competing platforms, pressure the government into supporting Apple in ways that compensate Apple for being that R&D engine. Tax breaks, the end of DOJ misguided suits… and other issues that Apple today considers the cost of doing business in America but which actually could be reduced or eliminated.

  5. Hahaha…what a crock of shit. Let me make a prediction and say Motorola’s royalties to Apple will be roughly equal to Apple’s royalties to Motorola (FRAND patent) and the whole thing will be a wash.

    Legendary judge indeed. Nope, just more of the same.

  6. Way to protect the status quo judge. Instead of making hard on Motorola for theft, let’s just let them legally mooch off Apple (for a nominal fee of course).

    How very Atlas Shrugged of him. Let’s take away more of people’s rights judge. Heck, why even give people the right to own patents or copy rights in the first place, or property for that matter.

    If a company can’t legally differentiate it’s products for it’s competitors and worse yet, must actually consent to allow its competitors to legally use it’s designs or technology (for a nominal fee), why would a company even bother to invent anything?

  7. The “legendary” judge cares more abut the results than finding who is right. Catastrophic results for Motorola? Well, next time I kill someone, I will quote this judge: “If you put me on trial, I may have catastrophic results for me, maybe even an electric chair, so let’s forget about all that nonsense and go back to our business as usual”

    1. As long as you pay a trifling bit of restitution to the family, even though they don’t want your dirty blood money, they just want their loved one alive, it’s all A-OK. Go on about your business, son.

      Judge Richard Posner is a fucking moron.

        1. No, that’s called making a point. He’s using Posner’s thinking and taking it to its logical conclusion.

          Anyway, something is wrong here. Either Posner is tired and unable to think any longer, or he was given praise all these years that he never earned.

  8. Crazy. The courts made Kodak shut down their entire instant photo business (whole factories and distribution channels for film and cameras) when they were found to infringe on Polaroid’s patents.

    Polaroid went back to having a monopoly on the technology, because they invented it and patented it. That’s what a patent is, a temporary monopoly for a technology.

    Why is Apple’s IP entitled to less protection?

    1. VERY good question that Judge Posner should address when making suggestions such as this. The judge should concentrate on giving a fair trial instead rather than suggestions that give Google a pat on the head for stealing Apple’s intellectual properties… that’s what he’s in the seat for.

  9. It is hard to tell whether Judge Posner was suggesting a pssible resolution or really stating his firm thinking on these issues.
    Apple’s lawyers will press the issue and appeal if necessary.

    I will await further developments.

  10. Apple needs to keep a little bit more quiet, or at least until release day, any new products and features. It seems that when they announce a new iPhone say, with all the new features, the competition have a month or 2 too copy it. That could stall them a bit & people might finally see, who came up with the idea first. We all know Samsung will still copy, but why give them an early start?

    1. Then there’s Microsoft who flippantly announce vaporware often YEARS before it hits the street. What do they care if someone copies them, seeing as that’s all they do all day themselves.

      Then again, there are those remarkable Microsoft innovations like the BIG ASS TABLE. Sometimes Microsoft really should hold their cards close to the vest. They got lucky that time. What if every computer manufacturer had started making BIG ASS TABLES?! Pandemonium! 😉

  11. I do not understand this judge. And having watched the US patent system for over five decades, I think we have the worst patent system in the world. Partly because Judges want to write their own laws, and partly because we pay immense sums to attorneys and often, nothing to the inventors.

    The purpose of a patent is to reward the inventor for his novel solution to a problem.

    So what happens? The man who invented the weed-eater had his patent thrown out because a patent judge ruled it to be “obvious.” Nobody figured it out before him, but it is obvious?

    So hundreds of millions of dollars go to asian copycats on the weed-eater market. The man who made that invention gets no royalties and he has a distinct opinions about the value of the american patent system. Thanks to a judge.

    I know a man who has some of the critical and original patents on microprocessors. He gets nothing for his work. Meanwhile, Attorneys and Judges get big piles of money discussing something they did not invent, and blatantly don’t have the brains to invent. This is wrong.

    And in reference to Judge Posner’s “let’s play nice and just pay royalty fees.” Well, Judge, I kinda like the looks of your wife. How about I just pay you a very low (but reasonable) royalty fee and then I get to use her whenever I want? Maybe I’ll even subcontract her services to others. I’m sure Samsung would like to make the same deal.

    I’ve had many cell phones. The Apple iPhone was and is a tremendous step forward. It is novel. If the American Patent system does not protect that, then I am in favor of disbanding the entire “system” and dismiss Posner and his cronies to the unemployment line. A free market free for all would be far more interesting than this mess.

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