Did we tell you so or not? Just last week we reported on Judge Richard Posner’s tentative ruling in a US patent case between Motorola and Apple that seemed to seal the deal and refuse both parties the chance to go up against each other in court. However, as we informed you at the time, the Judge’s tentative ruling was only provisional, and His Honor himself admitted that he could change his mind.
Well, that’s exactly what happened a week later, when the much awaited final ruling on the case turned into an order granting Apple’s request for an injunction hearing. In plain words, Apple 1 – Motorola 0. Or is it?
While Apple is thought to be the party with the better chances to win the legal quarrel, Motorola has accusations of its own, which will also be debated in court next week. “Each party may argue that it would be entitled to injunctive relief as to its patent or patents were the other party found to have infringed” says Judge Posner in his most recent statement, thus allowing both Apple and Motorola to back their patent infringement claims with evidence. However, no new evidence will be brought to Court and only proof from the existing record will be taken into account.
The hearing will be held next Wednesday, on June 20, in a yet to be announced courtroom of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse and is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Briefs from both parties involved in the injunction will be submitted no later than “the close of business on Monday, June 18”, while both Apple and Motorola should be prepared “to address the possibility of substitution for an injunction of an equitable decree for a reasonable royalty going forward.”
We told you last week that the tentative decision of denying an injunction hearing was a pretty big win for Motorola. But what if we told you that this week’s decision shouldn’t be viewed as a defeat for Moto?
I know, it may sound bizarre, but the fact of the matter is that, for Apple to be granted an injunction, the company needs proof that “it has suffered an irreparable injury” due to Motorola infringing one or several of its patents.
That’s almost impossible to do right now with only the existent proof in this case, which is why we think that Judge Posner has granted the hearing in the first place. It’s a known fact around the web that the 73-year old judge is fed up with the ridiculous accusations from both Apple and Motorola, but if he had denied them the injunction, they had yet another reason for appeal. The appeal might have overturned Posner’s decision and decide an injunction hearing was needed after all, which would have got things back from where they started.
Moreover, the following hearing might have been presided by a different judge, so it’s very possible that Richard Posner has “changed its mind” only to be able to stop Apple and Motorola from wasting the time of his fellow justices.
All of this is pure speculation, of course, and will either be proven right or wrong starting next Wednesday. Stay tuned and we will be updating you on the matter as soon as we find out anything new. Also, let us know what you think of this entire legal war between Apple and Motorola. Does any party think it will win anything in court anytime soon? Or are they simply too proud to give up on all those ludicrous accusations?
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Fingers crossed that Posner is doing this only to ensure that his ruling will be difficult to over turn by a higher court.