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 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 :-)

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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