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Judge scolds Apple, limits scope of touch-screen patent in Motorola lawsuit

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Judge scolds Apple, limits scope of touch-screen patent in Motorola lawsuit
In the U.S., the ongoing patent wars between Apple and Motorola are unfolding in a Chicago-area courtroom. Apple has lost two rulings in the last 24 hours, and in the process was once again scolded by the presiding judge.

The first ruling, an attempt to excuse a witness Apple apparently does not want to testify, was denied; the ruling in and of itself is probably not a major blow to Apple’s case (unless the witness has some major exculpatory bombshell he’s waiting to testify to). But Judge Richard Posner, a judge with a distinguished and well-known career, was not amused that it was Apple’s second attempt in three days to excuse the witness, and took Apple to task for it saying:

I deny the second half of Apple’s motion (seeking prohibition of the deposition) as frivolous and the first half (seeking substitution) as untimely. I've had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple. The next such motion, and I shall forbid it to file any motions without first moving for leave to file.

What the judge is threatening to do is make Apple ask for permission (in a written legal brief) before it makes any sort of motion. While not the end of the world (Google and Oracle have had to deal with this throughout their trial) forcing Apple to do so without imposing that restriction on Motorola would at the least create a lot more work for Apple’s lawyers. Since this is the second time in a month that they have been lectured by Judge Posner, Apple's counsel may want to back off their overly aggressive stance.

The other ruling limits the scope of Apple’s ‘949 patent on touchscreen heuristics, and will have a more direct impact on the outcome of the trial. Apple contended that a “finger swipe” and a touch are interchangeable from the point of view of a mobile device, so their patent should cover essentially all forms of multi-touch. Posner found that consumer readily identify “tapping” and “swiping” as different activities, and so the patent cannot treat the two as the same type of input. That doesn’t mean that Apple can’t win on the patent, but it does mean that Apple won’t get a sweeping victory from this particular patent.

The judge also ruled that Motorola cannot be held accountable for user-installed applications, such as Amazon’s Kindle App, if they violate Apple patents. The judge did hold that on devices where the app was preinstalled that Motorola could be held at least partially responsible for infringement.

The back-to-back cases between Apple and Motorola are scheduled to go to trial this summer, so baring delay we should see how this works out in the not too distant future.

sources: Bloomberg, FOSS Patents

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posted on 01 May 2012, 13:05 15

1. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


posted on 01 May 2012, 17:44 2

15. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


posted on 01 May 2012, 20:49 2

18. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

i imagine porky pig saying that for some reason.. must be all the P's lolol

posted on 01 May 2012, 13:09 6

2. Tux4g63 (Posts: 120; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)

Sometimes I shake my head at how far we have traveled down the road from where and what these products were meant to be, both to us as individuals and as a collective society. The very fact that one of the wealthiest companies in the world feels that it has to use its money, time, and resources to essentially argue that a "tap" and "swipe" are the same thing is petty. I can imagine way better uses of the resources. And, the fact that this has turned into litigation I squarely point the fingers at Oracle and Apple. Every other company would have been fine going on innovating, conducting R&D, and actually working towards making better more useful products, instead of pointing fingers and demanding for compensation for what...a finger activity?

posted on 01 May 2012, 14:14 2

8. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)

what else do you expect from apple. they dont give a damnn to society or ethical values. all they care about is money. they are a bunch of greedy and evil a$$****s. sooner or later they gonna fall and its gonna end badly for Rotten Fruit Inc.

posted on 01 May 2012, 13:20 1

5. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

A judge's ruling isn't always absolute especially if the outcome is obscene and unjustified.

posted on 01 May 2012, 18:07 3

16. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)

The only thing here that's obscene and unjust is that it took this long for something like this to happen in the first place

posted on 02 May 2012, 00:39 1

20. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Huh?! Who is the one that determines whether the judge's ruling is obscene and unjustified? You? You are obviously biased. Try sticking to finding error in the judge's ruling (as in a law or judicial precedent that was erroneously applied), 'cause that is the only way Apple is going to prevail on appeal.

posted on 01 May 2012, 13:34 3

6. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Posner is my hero

posted on 01 May 2012, 13:56 4

7. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

APPLE has turned these proceedings into a farce.
I see this ending badly for APPLE.

posted on 01 May 2012, 14:30

9. SuperEd (Posts: 132; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Where's judge Whopner when you need him!!!

posted on 01 May 2012, 15:14 1

10. kastor (Posts: 43; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)

why apple dont make more devices per year,coz they must pay all loyers so they can fight against word

posted on 01 May 2012, 15:30 3

12. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

They don't have to make more devices per year, because they already have overpriced devices.

posted on 01 May 2012, 15:27

11. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

Apple, u jelly?

posted on 01 May 2012, 16:57 1

14. mas11 (Posts: 1034; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

Shouldn't Amazon be liable since they created the app? What does Motorola have to do with it?

posted on 01 May 2012, 20:26 4

17. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

"I've had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple."

This might as well sum up most of their lawsuits....

Where was this judge when Apple was suing Samsung and Motorola for rectangles, corners, and bezels? Yea....the Xoom....was considered or was in a lawsuit for hardware......that alone should be enough to tell folks Apple is kinda loony.

posted on 01 May 2012, 21:21

19. HugeTroller (banned) (Posts: 80; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)

Moto whyuuy euu stole ma sh1t?

posted on 02 May 2012, 03:43 1

21. GuiltyBystander (Posts: 199; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)

Lawl, the judges in the US are not as Apple friendly as in Germany.

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