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Apple Patent Lawsuit against Motorola Dismissed

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Apple Patent Lawsuit against Motorola Dismissed


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s smartphone mobility patent lawsuit against Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MSI) was dismissed by a U.S federal judge. The judge dismissed the case based on prejudice, which means that neither party can refile. However, both Apple Inc.  and Motorola Solutions Inc. have an opportunity to present their claims at the court of appeal.

According to PC World, Judge Richard Posner of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, had previously overruled testimony of various expert witnesses citing that it as inadmissible. He had earlier this month concluded that the case would be dismissed. Following his cancellation of the trial date, Posner agreed to a request from Apple for a hearing allowing both parties to make a claim for damages.

As part of his ruling, Judge Posner wrote, “It would be ridiculous to dismiss a suit for failure to prove damages and allow the plaintiff to refile the suit so that he could have a second chance to prove damages.”

The Judge had previously reduced Apple’s patent infringement claims from four to one, but still appeared nonpartisan during Friday’s case as evidenced in his words on both parties.

In his remarks to Motorola regarding its attempt to obtain an injunction against Apple related to patents licensed under FRAND (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory) terms Posner said

  • “By committing to license its patents on FRAND terms, Motorola committed to licensing the [patent] to anyone willing to pay a FRAND royalty and thus implicitly acknowledged that a royalty is adequate compensation for a license to use that patent. How could it do otherwise? How could it be permitted to enjoin Apple from using an invention that it contends Apple must use if it wants to make a cell phone with UMTS telecommunications capability — without which it would not be a cell phone,” Computer World notes.

Apple received the following comments from the judge over the patent claims:

  • He said, “A patentee cannot base a claim to an injunction on a self-inflicted wound, such as sponsoring a damages expert who prepares a demonstrably inadequate report.” He went on to note “in its latest written and oral submissions Apple attempts what I told its legal team at a pretrial conference I would not let it do in the liability trials then envisaged: turn the case into an Apple versus Motorola popularity contest. Apple wanted me to allow into evidence media reports attesting to what a terrific product the iPhone is.”

Judge Posner also addresses apple’s  claims over copyright infringements, which could reduce the company’s sales and consumer Goodwill. Judge Posner stressed that Apple’s claims had nothing to do with the infringement, and emphasizing the legality of Motorola’s activity in selling competing products.

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