The jury trial over patent infringement on both sides between Appleand Motorola won't be happening, according to the federal judge incharge of the case. Instead, he'll be taking a look at the evidencehimself, and may prevent any kind of trial at all. Everyone who's been looking forward to the behind-the-scenesinformation that'd come from the jury trial between Apple andMotorola in Illinois next week, prepare to be disappointed: Thefederal judge who was to preside over the trial today canceled theplanned proceedings, rejecting damage arguments by both cases. Whatdoes this mean for the lawsuit between the companies? The answer to that question remains somewhat unclear. |
AlthoughJudge Richard Posner rejected arguments from both Apple andMotorola relating to damages over alleged patent infringement inboth directions, in the process removing any need for a jury trialto consider the size of any potential awards – Apple isclaiming four patents were infringed by Motorola, Motorola has onlyone claim against Apple – he has not actually issued anydeclaration over whether or not infringement has occurred, and ifso, what (if any) actions need to be taken to make reparations. According to the Foss Patents blog , Judge Posner "has not yet decided on whether the partiesare entitled to injunctive relief. He is now thinking about thisand will enter a written order at a later time." If hedecides that injunctive relief is a possibility in any of the fivedisputed claims, then there may yet be a trial, albeit a benchtrial that would see attorneys presenting their cases directly toJudge Posner without the need for a jury. Also undecided, accordingto Foss, is whether or not either company will be entitled todeclaratory judgment over any of the patent claims.
The dismissal of the jury trial follows a request from the judgelast weekend for opinions from each company on whether or how hewould still have jurisdiction on declaratory judgment on theclaims; while Motorola responded in the negative, Apple was much more accommodating about the idea , saying that, while forgoing a trial would be "a waste ofboth sides' resources, and a waste of the considerable energythis Court has expended in getting this case ready fortrial," the company felt that "no other court is asclose to reaching a decision on these issues between Motorola andApple, and a determination regarding liability would greatly aidthe parties in bringing their dispute to a resolution." For now, both parties – as well as iPhone and Motorola mobiledevice users who may find themselves owners of devices no longer onthe market as a result of a particular end ruling – will haveto wait until Judge Posner's written order before knowingwhat lies ahead for this lawsuit.
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