Apple Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Motorola Dismissed

By Joseph Mandour on June 11, 2012

Patent Infringement Claims Orange County – The lawsuit was set to begin Monday, the adversaries were in place, and attorneys were prepped and ready to charge. However, to the surprise of both parties, Judge Richard Posner handed down an order dismissing the claims of both Apple and Motorola in Apple’s latest patent infringement lawsuit.

The preliminary order determined that neither party produced sufficient evidence to prove that infringement had caused measurable harm. Furthermore, he noted that the requests for injunctive relief would impose costs that would be disproportionate to the harm caused to future product development, as well as public interest. Judge Posner determined that it would be harmful to consumers, manufacturers and market competition if patents on small software elements and technology were used as weapons to remove competitive products from the marketplace.

Judge Posner also found the methodology Apple used to estimate damages to be both illogical and erroneous. Most significantly, there were huge problems with how Apple estimated values for things like app prices. Posner undoubtedly wanted both parties to recognize that just because a party owns a patent, does not mean that it is worth millions. It is important to note that in today’s marketplace, anyone can patent a relatively insignificant software function that is used in countless computer products. And with the right attorney, that same patent can be made to appear so priceless that it needs to be protected with the threat of endless litigation.

Of late, Apple has been extremely aggressive in defending any action that it considers detrimental to its patent ownership and distinctive technology. To that end, Apple currently has a number of lawsuits pending against such companies as Samsung, Google and HTC. The outcome of this lawsuit is particularly important in the future decisions to be handed down in lawsuits involving Apple and its technology rivals. By throwing out the Apple versus Motorola lawsuit, Judge Posner undoubtedly set a precedent for future cases. Such a precedent is likely to be of significant importance to future patent holders, as well as inventors. In order for an invention to be worth millions, damages must be quantifiable and the invention must be worth something in the minds of consumers.

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