Print 22 comment(s) - last by flubaluba.. on Nov 10 at 8:41 AM

Judge Crabb questioned Apple's willingness to license

They say the third time's the charm, but that certainly did not hold true regarding Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) dreams of banning Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Motorola Mobility unit's products and forcing the rival firm into compulsory licensing at rates of fractions of pennies on the dollar.  A federal court kicked out the suit/countersuit between the warring duo a third time, raising questions of whether both companies are wasting taxpayer time and court resources with their smartphone patent war.

I. Google v. Apple is Kicked Out in Eleventh Hour

Just hours before a trial would have begunU.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin under the jurisdiction of Judge Barbara Crabb threw out the case, arguing that Apple essentially was wasting the court's time.

One focus of the trial was supposed to be establishing a "fair" licensing rate for video codec and wireless communication patents, which were developed by Motorola as part of industry standards under so-called "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) licensing promises.

Judge Crabb initially expressed willingness to suggest such a rate.  But when Apple's lawyers wrote in a filing last week that they would reject her guidance if the rate ended up being higher than $1 USD per iPhone, she grew irate at the Cupertino company's apparent arrogance.

Android doll
Apple told the federal judge that it would only accept her guidance if it liked it.
[Image Source: ZuperDZigh]

With its filing, Apple essentially was telling the federal judge that it wanted to take up her time evaluating the licensing rates, but it would only accept her guidance if it liked what she ruled.  Judge Crabb responded by telling Apple's lawyers that it was not a valid use of court resources to merely act in a non-binding advisory capacity to private corporations' licensing discussions.  If Apple wanted to bring matters to court, it would be the court that had the final say in the ruling, not the other way around.

II. A Win for Google

In the dismissal she is quoted by Reuters as writing, "It has become clear that Apple's interest in a license is qualified."

Judge Barbara Crabb
Judge Barbara Crabb grew frustrated with Apple, evenutally tossing out its case.

Google's lawyers praised the decision.  In a statement, they commented, "We remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple."

It's possible that Apple's lawyers could make a bid to apologize and urge the Wisconsin federal judge to reconsider working on the case.  But it seems unlikely that will happen, unless they back off from their apparent belief that they are in the driver's seat when it comes to the ruling.

More likely the case will die out, much like the lawsuit before it, which was struck twice from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) by Judge Richard A. Posner, a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge who was moonlighting in the lower district court for the important case.  As Judge Posner was a senior justice on the Appeals Circuit that Apple would have had to appeal the case to, that effort was dead in the water.

In that case as well, Judge Posner initially expressed willingness to hear Apple's arguments, but was taken aback by a constant stream of belligerent filings from Apple's legal team, which he found complained even after he handed them relative victories.  Judge Posner subsequently dismissed the case "with prejudice".

Source: Reuters

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By GulWestfale on 11/6/2012 5:49:06 PM , Rating: 5
this hopefully shows apple (and other patent trolls) that overdoing it is not tolerated in court.
except in california and if the judge's name is koh. but still, this is a good ruling.

RE: good
By Noonecares on 11/6/2012 6:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
Koh actually tossed the case out in the beginning btw... Then the federal courts asked her to rethink that decision.. which is a rare thing to happen in itself.

RE: good
By Jeffk464 on 11/6/2012 8:33:38 PM , Rating: 3
Sweet, my new favorite judge.

RE: good
By marvdmartian on 11/7/2012 7:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
The arrogance of the company is oftentimes mimicked by that of the people that use its products.....and is just as foolish from those parties! Nice to see this judge was willing to tell them so!

RE: good
By flubaluba on 11/10/2012 8:41:48 AM , Rating: 2
Talk about kicking yourself, Apple have now put themselves in a situation where they could be sitting in court for a long long time by many many manufacturers that use there own tactics against them.

"with prejudice" is the important part
By Solandri on 11/6/2012 6:46:31 PM , Rating: 5
Judge Crabb threw out this case with prejudice (just as Judge Posner did). When a judge dismisses a case "with prejudice", it means the plaintiff cannot file the case again. Functionally, it's the same as having the trial and Motorola/Google prevailing.

Basically, Crabb felt there was misconduct on the part of Apple, and that they were just wasting the court's time. So Apple is banned from bringing up this lawsuit again.

RE: "with prejudice" is the important part
By retrospooty on 11/6/2012 11:05:30 PM , Rating: 4
LOL. Really not a good couple of weeks for Apple. Losing ground, losing market share, losing court cases, several killer new Android phones out and more coming before years end, IOS is looking more and more outdated with every Android update, stock is dropping, even Tony has been quiet lately. The world is beginning to correct itself. =)

RE: "with prejudice" is the important part
By MadMan007 on 11/7/12, Rating: 0
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/7/2012 8:03:53 AM , Rating: 2
No he didn't...

By Richard875yh5 on 11/7/2012 8:57:53 AM , Rating: 2
It looks to me Apple is grasping for straws knowing their cellphone dominance is coming to an end. It should be because Samsung makes a better phone. This iPhone hype is foolish and has come to the point, that an iPhone is just a status symbol. When you hear people say my Iphone this, and my iPhone that, it's like they are bragging because they own an iPhone.
I, for one, will buy the best cellphone and couldn't care less about a symbolic device to impress my peers.

RE: Apple/Google
By HrilL on 11/7/2012 10:02:21 AM , Rating: 2
impress your peers with an iPhone??? when I see people with one I automatically think less of them. I think oh look and iSmug 4g.

RE: Apple/Google
By retrospooty on 11/7/2012 10:25:23 AM , Rating: 2
I think he is referring to the misguided people that buy tjhe iPhone as a status symbol and their misguided peers that are impressed by iPhones.

Those that know better pay less and get more with other platforms.

RE: Apple/Google
By BZDTemp on 11/7/2012 1:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Much of the time those choosing and iPhone did it to be cool but they are much to late and usually ill informed.

Fx. I remember how a colleague talked about how his iPhone4 was 4G :-)

Ha-Ha! /nelson
By Motoman on 11/6/2012 9:14:35 PM , Rating: 5
Dear Apple,

F%ck you.

People with brains.

RE: Ha-Ha! /nelson
By EasyC on 11/7/2012 9:41:55 AM , Rating: 2

Apple =
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/6/2012 6:29:03 PM , Rating: 2
The little brat in the store who screams their head off because they can't get what they want.

RE: Apple =
By augiem on 11/7/2012 4:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
Politics and business are proof that people actually never grow up.

RE: Apple =
By spaced_ on 11/9/2012 12:45:11 AM , Rating: 2
You sir, deserve a Freddo.

By Theoz on 11/7/2012 1:30:38 PM , Rating: 2
As Judge Posner was a senior justice on the Appeals Circuit that Apple would have had to appeal the case to, that effort was dead in the water.

This is incorrect. All patent cases get appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Judge Posner would not have heard the appeal because he is instead part of the 7th circuit judiciary.

That's one of the reasons why Posner sitting in as a trial judge was so interesting - because he wouldn't have been involved otherwise. Posner clearly had an agenda for taking the case, which can really be the only explanation for the highly unorthodox move.

RE: Correction
By wifiwolf on 11/7/2012 2:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
highly unorthodox move

And highly righteous.

RE: Correction
By boobo on 11/7/2012 10:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
It might seem more like agenda-pushing, if he didn't have a history of doing it before.

By sprockkets on 11/6/2012 6:00:26 PM , Rating: 5
Apple complains to the court (and the FTC) that moto abused their frand patents. Then once the case is about to start, complains that if the court decides the correct amount is over one dollar, they won't pay it.

Translation: apple never gave a sht about FRAND patents or abuse, but just wants to pay nothing for it, while wanting $40 for bs software patents.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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