“In another surprise move, Judge Richard A. Posner has again dismissed the entirety of the patent suit consisting of claims and counterclaims from both Apple and Motorola of patent infringement, saying that both sides had failed to prove that they had been materially injured or formulate alleged damages,” Electronista reports. “He had issued a tentative dismissal last week, but was persuaded to hold one last hearing to discuss possible remedies.”
“The 38-page ruling is rife with frustration at both sides of the battle, pointing out missteps and errors made by both companies’ lawyers, as well as illustrating areas where both companies could have solidified their arguments with regards to damages,” Electronista reports. “Apple was cited as having tainted an expert witness by having him rely mainly on Apple engineers for an assessment of potential damages, while Motorola’s claim that its sole remaining patent was not subject to the concept of “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” (FRAND) licensing was viewed dubiously by the judge, who seemed to suggest that he would have dismissed Motorola’s claim outright had the case gone to trial.”
Read more in the full article here.
Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents, “This case is 100% certain to be appealed to the Federal Circuit… Judge Posner has a very strategic perspective on some of these issues, and some of what he said has strategic implications for the parties involved. But as far as the legal reasoning behind the dismissal of Apple’s claims is concerned, it boils down to a procedural/tactical question: the ruling essentially says that Apple didn’t do its homework in terms of expert reports and witnesses to be entitled to an injunction (or, in the alternative, monetary compensation) while it had the chance to do so. He doesn’t rule out that Apple might have won either an injunction or at least damages (if it had been given the chance to prove an infringement).”
“There are also substantive/strategic issues with repercussions beyond this case. They involve the entitlement to injunctions in general, possible workarounds for some of Apple’s patents, Motorola’s pursuit of injunctions over (or excessive royalties for) standard-essential patents, etc.,” Mueller reports. “Chief Judge Rader of the CAFC (whose court is going to be next to look at this case) has repeatedly made statements that are markedly more favorable to the interests of patent holders than the positions Judge Posner takes. Again, I’m personally more on Posner’s than Rader’s side, but with a view to what will happen next, it’s a safe assumption that the CAFC will be concerned about the patent-skeptical stance embodied in this ruling and will probably be hesitant to affirm this in its entirety.”
Mueller writes, “Judge Posner wanted his ruling to represent a contribution to patent peace. He wanted to discourage even more litigation. This is, of course, perfectly consistent with his patent-skeptical attitude. Unfortunately for him and the industry, his ruling is actually going to have the opposite effect. Judge Posner tried to limit damages claims and to raise the bar for injunctive relief in general and, even more so, in connection with standard-essential patents. When writing his decision, he knew it was going to be cited many times in the months and years ahead. It will be, and it deserves to be. But it’s going to have the unintended consequence of even more litigation… Simply put, Judge Posner’s ruling is an invitation for ‘forum-shopping…'”
“Judge Posner’s ruling doesn’t change the fact that Apple has to try to get as much leverage as possible out of the intellectual property rights that are available to it. The alternative would be unfettered copying, which would ruin Apple’s margins and, still worse, bring an unstoppable erosion of its market share. Yesterday’s ruling asks the right questions but doesn’t necessarily give a helpful answer to each and every one of them (though I definitely agree with some of them, such as the part on FRAND),” Mueller writes. “Apple is going to continue its quest for the answers it likes to get. It didn’t get them from Judge Posner. It may get them from the Federal Circuit, or from German courts, or somewhere else.”
Tons more in the full article, including Posner’s position on FRAND patents, here.
MacDailyNews Take: What’s the point of patenting something about your unique design and technical innovations if you can’t stop others from using them or if you eventually can, but it takes so long as to render the entire process moot? To pay for the lavish lifestyles of judges and lawyers?
And, can Apple ever manage to hire competent legal representation who can actually protect them from blatantly obvious, slavish copying in a timely manner? You know, a lawyer who doesn’t do things like scribble out contracts for sugar water salesmen to sign that hand over the company’s crown jewels to Bill Gates so he can amass the world’s largest personal fortune by copying the Mac in perpetuity.
Apple’s lawyers are known for arriving at trials in a clown car. Bozos. Failures. Losers. Win something of substance for once and we’ll change our tune.
As it has been for the last 3 decades and counting:
Apple. The developer for the world.™
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]
Apple, Motorola should just play nice and pay royalties, suggests judge – June 21, 2012
U.S. judge changes mind, grants Apple an injunction hearing against Motorola (and vice versa) – June 14, 2012
Apple’s biggest enemy in smartphone wars: Molasses-like legal systems – June 13, 2012
Apple, Motorola Mobility patent trial scrapped by U.S. Judge [UPDATED] – June 7, 2012