“The U.S. judge who tossed out one of the biggest court cases in Apple Inc’s smartphone technology battle is questioning whether patents should cover software or most other industries at all,” Dan Levine reports for Reuters. “Richard Posner, a prolific jurist who sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, told Reuters this week that the technology industry’s high profits and volatility made patent litigation attractive for companies looking to wound competitors.”
“Posner, 73, was appointed as a federal appeals court judge by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and has written dozens of books, including one about economics and intellectual property law,” Levine reports. “Posner, who teaches at the University of Chicago, effectively ended Apple’s lawsuit against Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit last month… Posner said some industries, like pharmaceuticals, had a better claim to intellectual property protection because of the enormous investment it takes to create a successful drug.”
MacDailyNews Take: You know, because Apple spent nothing to develop the iPhone, iPod touch, iTunes, the iTunes Store, the App Store, iPad, iOS, iCloud, and the billion-dollar data centers that power them. Furthermore, using Posner’s addled “logic,” a penniless genius who dreams up, say, a working cold fusion generator has no claim to intellectual property protection because he didn’t spend a penny.
Levine reports, “‘It’s not clear that we really need patents in most industries,’ he said. Also, devices like smartphones have thousands of component features, and they all receive legal protection. ‘You just have this proliferation of patents,’ Posner said. ‘It’s a problem.'”
MacDailyNews Take: The real problem might actually be lazy, doddering judges who can’t keep up with the rapid pace of change and/or their workloads and probably should’ve retired years ago.
“The Apple/Motorola case did not land in front of Posner by accident. He volunteered to oversee it,” Levine reports. “Federal appellate judges occasionally offer to preside over district court cases. Posner had alerted the district judges of his interest in patents, so after part of the smartphone battle landed in Wisconsin federal court, the judge there transferred the case to him.”
Levine reports, “When Posner began working on the smartphone case, he told the litigants he was ‘really neutral’ because he used a court-issued BlackBerry made by Research In Motion Ltd. He soon accepted an upgrade to an iPhone, but only uses it to check email and call his wife, he said. ‘I’m not actually that interested in becoming part of the smartphone generation,’ he said.”
MacDailyNews Take: You know what we just said about lazy, doddering judges who can’t keep up with the rapid pace of change and/or their workloads and probably should’ve retired years ago? We rest our case.
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: If that illogical, out-of-touch, old fool is a shining example of American jurisprudence, the country is doomed.
There may be too many questionable patents granted. There are definitely too many patent trolls. But, just doing away with patents is not the answer. Companies that create original work, such as Apple, deserve to be protected from rampant, blatant theft and slavish copying. To claim that Apple is not harmed is ludicrous. Posner seems to have forgotten the very essence of justice. He also seems to have forgotten his role as a judge which is to fairly adjudicate cases based upon the laws of the land, not to legislate from the bench.
Posner never should have hijacked the case. He should have left it to a competent judge.
Judge dismisses entire Apple-Moto patent suit with prejudice – June 23, 2012
Apple, Motorola should just play nice and pay royalties, suggests judge – June 21, 2012