Apple's Case Against Motorola/Google Dismissed "With Prejudice"
June 8, 2012 11:00 AM
comment(s) - last by
Frustrated judge takes issue with parties inability to agree, unwillingness to license
Both Apple, Inc. (
) and Android operating system maker Google Inc. (
subsidiary Motorola Mobility
saw a potentially
precedent setting ruling
, in which both parties cases were dismissed by an irate federal judge.
I. Dismissed With Prejudice
Judge Richard A. Posner
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
judge who moonlighted in the
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
(Chicago) for this critical case, seemed to imply that both companies were trying to abuse the legal system, wasting its time with unclear arguments.
Both companies agreed that money would fix the alleged wrongs caused by the other's infringement. But Judge Posner was frustrated by the fact that neither company could reasonably justify the exorbitant sums they were claiming their patents were worth.
Judge Richard Posner was frustrated with what he viewed as ridiculous arguments from Motorola Mobility's and Apple's legion of lawyers. [Image Source: Abel Uribe, Chicago Tribune]
Also, Judge Posner complained about Apple's lawyers filing a mired myriad of motions. In this regard, Apple's insistence at objecting to every ruling of Judge Posner's may have hurt it in court.
Notably, Judge Posner had stated in a preliminary ruling that some features in Google/Motorola Mobility's Android operating system
infringed on Apple's intellectual property
complained about its victory
, with its legal team essentially bellyaching about the fact that the Judge didn't find in their favor for every single claim, even though he had found in their favor for
most of them
Judge Posner's decision to dismiss the case was quite resolute, in that he dismissed it "with prejudice", writing, "I have tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief."
II. Appeal? Unlikely
Either company will have a tough road ahead appealing that decision as Judge Posner is a senior member of the Appeals court which would hear their case. In short Apple versus Motorola is probably over in the U.S. with no damages awarded to either company, on account of their legal teams' inability to be reasonable (according to Judge Posner).
The only possible alternative route would be to file further complaints to the
U.S. International Trade Commission
. But such complaints may not be taken seriously given the prestige Judge Posner holds among federal judges nationwide, in part thanks to his service for years as an esteemed faculty at the
University of Chicago
Apple's options to appeal or complain to the ITC are scarce. [Image Source: ArsTechnica]
Other than the ITC or an appeal, both companies will likely be banned from filing lawsuits against each other until 2014. It's important to note that Motorola Mobility was already
found innocent by the ITC
of Apple's accusations of infringement on several patents.
III. Good News for Customers; Bad News for Lawyers
Arguably this is a big win for consumers in that there will (likely) be no product bans, and the pair will be forced to compete on the market. Of course some Apple and Android fans may fantasize about banning each other’s products, but to the average consumer, such bans would at best be an annoyance.
On the other hand, it's a blow to both companies' legal efforts. For Google, it loses the ability to use Motorola Mobility as a club to beat Apple back from suing other Android handset makers, such as HTC Corp. (
). It was Motorola Mobility that filed the first lawsuit against Apple on Oct. 6, 2010.
For Apple, who
filed countersuit against Motorola Mobility
on Oct. 29, 2010, it is also a blow. While Apple did not necessarily start this fight explicitly, its former CEO Steve Jobs long implied Motorola Mobility (and Google) were in infringement and that he would eventually
"destroy" them with bans
Indeed, bans could have destroyed Motorola or at least have forced its new owner Google to reach deep into its pockets, given that the smartphone maker is already
struggling mightily with profitability
. Now Motorola's lawyers will be free to focus on their
court battle with Microsoft
Apple and Motorola Mobility will be forced to begrudgingly compete on the market.
[Image Source: Obama Pacman]
A diluted market is a dangerous market for Apple, as it learned in the 1980s. It is in Apple's best interest to keep the smartphone market
a two-company race
with Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
), should its efforts to
ban Samsung's product line
fail. Having a host of smaller alternatives like Motorola and HTC could eventually hurt Apple in the long run, as Apple would be fighting a one-man sales battle against a crowd of rivals.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois via SBNation [PDF]
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Judge in appeals court too?
6/8/2012 1:55:36 PM
The point of an appeals court is to have new eyes look at the case.
I know that he is not the only judge in the appeals court, but isn't it unfair to have the same judge in both courts?
That technical point aside, I'm glad to finally see some common sense from a judge, I had almost lost faith.
RE: Judge in appeals court too?
6/8/2012 11:50:09 PM
Posner would just recuse himself and let the other judges in the circuit court decide the case.
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
Apple Looks to Kill Samsung's Galaxy S III and the Rest of Its Family
June 7, 2012, 2:08 PM
Google Completes Acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Layoffs Likely
May 22, 2012, 11:47 AM
Motorola Androids Banned in the U.S.; Samsung May be the Last Survivor
May 18, 2012, 7:00 PM
Apple, Samsung Snag 99% of Mobile Phone Profits
May 4, 2012, 11:53 AM
Motorola Bleeds More Cash as it Waits for Google to Save It
May 2, 2012, 2:02 PM
Ford to Switch 3,300 Employees from BlackBerries to Apple iPhones by Year's End
July 29, 2014, 2:08 PM
Quick Note: Hilton Hotels to Use Smartphones as Room Keys, for Check-In/Check-Out
July 29, 2014, 12:53 PM
Verizon Wireless to Receive Exclusive "HTC One (M8) for Windows" Smartphone
July 29, 2014, 9:13 AM
Report: Microsoft's Chinese Offices Raided
July 28, 2014, 9:16 PM
Cell Phone Unlocking Bill Heads to President Obama's Desk
July 28, 2014, 11:58 AM
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is on the Warpath Again; Introduces $100, 10GB Family Plan
July 28, 2014, 10:12 AM
Most Popular Articles
Kindle Fire Phone Review Roundup -- A Solid "Meh"
July 23, 2014, 2:09 PM
Ford Details ’15 F-150’s 325hp, 2.7L EcoBoost V6; Demonstrates 732-lb Weight Loss
July 22, 2014, 6:55 PM
Windows 9 Will Merge Windows, Windows Phone, Windows RT in 2015
July 23, 2014, 3:33 PM
Comcast Memo: Harassing Customers During Retention Calls Actually IS Our Policy
July 22, 2014, 5:19 PM
Sony's Xperia Z3 Gets Detailed in Leaked Photos
July 25, 2014, 2:30 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information