Patent Law

Posner Tentatively Decides to Dismiss Apple-Motorola Patent Dispute, Cites Lack of Damages

A federal appeals judge who occasionally volunteers to handle trials apparently won’t be holding one in a dispute between Apple and Motorola over patents to technology used in Android mobile phones.

In an order (PDF) issued Thursday, Judge Richard Posner said he had tentatively decided to dismiss the case in which both sides allege infringement. Neither side can prove damages, Posner said, and an injunction would be “contrary to the public interest.” Reuters and ComputerWorld have stories.

The case has been described as possibly the “Super Bowl” of Android patent trials. Google purchased Motorola Mobility last month.

Posner said he is not granting injunctive relief because it “would impose costs disproportionate to the harm to the patentee and the benefit of the alleged infringement to the alleged infringer.”

The judge canceled the trial scheduled for Monday, but said he would delay entry of judgment until he prepared a full opinion “because in the course of that preparation I may change my mind.”

Prior coverage: “Judge Posner, Presiding at Patent Trial, Will Use Court-Appointed Experts to Explain Terms”

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