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Judge Slams Apple-Motorola Suit As 'Business Strategy' 140

Posted by timothy
from the stating-the-obvious dept.
jfruh writes "Faced with an Apple vs. Motorola lawsuit that involves 180 claims and counterclaims across 12 patents, a judge in Florida has thrown up his hands and accused both companies of acting in bad faith. Claiming the parties' were engaged in 'obstreperous and cantankerous conduct', he said that the lawsuit was part of 'a business strategy that appears to have no end.'"
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Judge Slams Apple-Motorola Suit As 'Business Strategy'

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  • Good (Score:5, Funny)

    by drinkydoh (2658743) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @01:53PM (#43425297)
    Fighting is stupid. You should just concentrate on making a great product, just like Apple does. Note that, Motorola/Google, and stop fighting.
    • I hope my sarcasm radar is just off today and you are not serious. :P
      • by thaylin (555395)
        Or he could mean that moto/google should just give up and let apple have it all, lol
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Noting his posting time is exactly same as article posting time, his lack of subscriber status to explain this and his comment history it's probably the same pro-MS/anti-Google troll/shill that was here several months ago.

        Never got whether he's really that stupid or does he simply get a kick out of this.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Note to everyone who hasn't RTFA: There is no page two, even though there's a link to page two. It's not a bad article but ending it on page 1 with a link to page two is shoddy as hell and whoever owns that site should be bitch slapped.

    • a judge can reassign his caseload however he wants until retirement in many jurisdictions, and in all of them if the head of judicial assignments also thinks it's noise. it is far more common to dismiss for frivolity or abuse of the system. but then the t1t vs. tat lawsuits pop up somewhere else. if a Federal judge ices the case, it's not going to bite anybody.

    • by maharvey (785540)
      Yes, and Apple, you should stop fighting with Motorola/Google, just because they are making a great product that is just like yours.
      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        And they should ALL be kissing Palm's ass because they were there first!

        fuck guys how old is the saying "standing on the shoulders of giants" anyway? the entire history of tech is one guy ripping somebody else off and doing it better, frankly that scene in Pirates of Silicon Valley could have described ALL of the electronics industry, because there Jobs was bitching about Gates doing the same damned thing he did which was rip off Xerox. they ALL do it, they ALL see an idea somebody else had and make a bet

        • And they should ALL be kissing Palm's ass because they were there first!

          And they should be kissing Apple's ass because they were there firster! [wikipedia.org]

          • by MrDoh! (71235)
            Maybe Olivetti? http://fjkraan.home.xs4all.nl/comp/m10/guide/m10ug_toc.html [xs4all.nl] (though this isn't the one I was looking for, but still a 'portable computing device', they also did a far smaller version running a 286 with a very basic gui, but I can't remember the name of it now). With keyboard/without, it's all portable/refining the tech surely?
          • by narcc (412956)

            Please, that was just another DynaBook ripoff...

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Dude there was DOS based PDAs, one I remember even had a GEM GUI, damned if I can think of its name offhand.

            That does NOT change the fact that its all just copying each other, its as old as the hills and just as common.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:01PM (#43425399)

    He is entirely correct. But this is what the US patent and court system has brought things to. There is no substantial downside to patent litigation for companies of this size. Even if you lose, you win, because you've forced your competitor through the legal defense ordeal.

    • He is entirely correct.

      Except this game(sic) as you put it did not exist [in the mobile sphere], everyone got along and licensed their patents to each other through FRAND, and them Steve Jobs with a few weak obvious interface patents and a few basic shape design patents...and a first out of gate [apart from that other phone] product, ever since then its been Apple patent raping one end of the phone industry to get the to sell Windows Phones [Seriously WTF?] to Microsoft patent raping them at the other to get them to License Windo

      • He is entirely correct.

        Except this game(sic) as you put it did not exist [in the mobile sphere], everyone got along and licensed their patents to each other through FRAND,

        Wow, you are so full of shit. Even if we ignore years of patent wars before the iPhone came out, both Nokia and Motorola sued Apple first.

  • No sir (Score:5, Funny)

    by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:03PM (#43425427)
    Is he implying that Apple's business strategy is somehow tied into massive, pervasive, and obvious patent trolling? No sir, simply won't buy it. Everyone knows they invented rounded corners.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:06PM (#43425455)

    that the judge blurting out what is obvious to anyone following the case is a clear violation of protocol.

  • Figures tongue lashings and pointy fingers should patch this issue right up.
  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spyke252 (2679761) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:08PM (#43425485)
    Until we see punishment for such business practices, they'll continue to be profitable. As long as they're profitable, companies will continue to use such business practices. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that judges are also seeing the idiocy that certain policies seem to lead to, but given how these companies sometimes even blatantly disregard the courts... They'll just find a different patent and sue in a different court system until they get their money back.
    • by Zeromous (668365)

      Institutionalized Gambling Addiction?

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Until we see punishment for such business practices, they'll continue to be profitable.

      The submitter editorialized a bit in using the words "bad faith".
      If the judge had actually declared that there was bad faith, there are appropriate sanctions, including attorneys fees and dismissal/winning the case.

  • Motorola? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:09PM (#43425509) Homepage

    I can't see how Motorola's using the lawsuit as a business strategy. They didn't file it, they don't want to be in court, and they have no choice about showing up or about what claims they have to defend against. I'm getting more and more annoyed at judges who get mad at defendants for having the temerity to stand up and defend themselves against the claims the plaintiff has made. If their defenses are meritless, then just rule so and be done with it. If they aren't meritless, then the blame for any complexity lies with the party making the claims, not the defense.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by TemporalBeing (803363)

      I can't see how Motorola's using the lawsuit as a business strategy. They didn't file it, they don't want to be in court, and they have no choice about showing up or about what claims they have to defend against. I'm getting more and more annoyed at judges who get mad at defendants for having the temerity to stand up and defend themselves against the claims the plaintiff has made. If their defenses are meritless, then just rule so and be done with it. If they aren't meritless, then the blame for any complexity lies with the party making the claims, not the defense.

      Agreed. A defendant can either choose to do nothing but repel the arguments, or use the existing lawsuit to bring charges of their own in hopes of at least reducing the damages if not removing them entirely and getting paid instead. The blame must lay with the originator, in this case Apple.

      • Re:Motorola? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:42PM (#43425855)

        The blame must lay with the originator, in this case Apple.

        From the article: "The lawsuit was filed by Motorola in January last year..."

        It's only one page, and does not take long to read.

        • Re:Motorola? (Score:4, Informative)

          by TemporalBeing (803363) <<bm_witness> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Thursday April 11, 2013 @03:12PM (#43426191) Homepage Journal

          The blame must lay with the originator, in this case Apple.

          From the article: "The lawsuit was filed by Motorola in January last year..."

          It's only one page, and does not take long to read.

          The title of the action is "Apple v. Motorola", which means that Apple is the one who file the first lawsuit in the action; per protocol it's Plaintfiff v. Defendant. Motorola may have filed what is left, but only after Apple already filed.

          And while TFA doesn't specially mention the official name of the suit, everyone tracked by Groklaw that I am aware of has Apple listed first.

        • by Nemyst (1383049)
          You're saying that like the whole Apple-Moto spat started in January last year... It's been going on for way longer than that, and it's an unending war of suit and countersuit which originated from Apple's bullying.
          • I'm saying it as a statement of well documented fact. Facts are always a good place to start a discussion. I don't see why you find that controversial.
      • The blame must lay with the originator, in this case Apple.

        It's actually Motorola that sued.

    • Re:Motorola? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:29PM (#43425747)

      I can't see how Motorola's using the lawsuit as a business strategy. They didn't file it, they don't want to be in court, and they have no choice about showing up or about what claims they have to defend against. I'm getting more and more annoyed at judges who get mad at defendants for having the temerity to stand up and defend themselves against the claims the plaintiff has made. If their defenses are meritless, then just rule so and be done with it. If they aren't meritless, then the blame for any complexity lies with the party making the claims, not the defense.

      The summary is wrong.

      It's Motorola Mobility v. Apple, not Apple v. Motorola Mobility.

      Motorola filed a lawsuit against Apple over patent violations in 2010, and expanded it in 2011 (with Google's permission as the Motorola-Google acquisition happened in the meantime) over more patents. Apple then charged Motorola (then) with patent violations as well.

        Motorola Mobility LLC v. Apple Inc., 12cv20271, U.S. District Court for the District of Florida (Miami)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Don't let your facts get in the way of a good anti-Apple tirade. This is Slashdot!!

      • Re:Motorola? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Moses48 (1849872) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @03:28PM (#43426359)

        Look here for the timeline: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone_wars [wikipedia.org]
        This list just shows who started what:
        Nokia sues apple, apple counters, and nokia counters, etc.
        Apple sues HTC, counters, etc
        (HTC gives royalties to microsoft... WTF?)
        S3 sues Apple
        Oracle sues google, oracle fails!
        Microsoft sues Motorolla, countered etc.
        Motorolla sues Apple, countered etc.
        Microsoft sues Barnes and Nobles
        Apple sues Samsung, countered
        Microsoft grabs more royalties from those without patent arsenal (le sigh)

        And that is a little rundown of where we are at.

        • Patent lawsuits are not *always* bullshit. Some lawsuits are completely legitamite.

          If Apple was having real technology stolen from them, I would applaud Apple taking appropriate steps to protect technology that Apple actually invented.

          FYI: Apple did not invent rounded corners.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            ": Apple did not invent rounded corners."
            They where the foist to use it in a tablet. The type of patent they got for that is to prevent other people from making a device that looks the same to ride off Apple coat tails.
            granted, there shouldn't be design patetnt, their should be design 'trademarks'.

          • Patent lawsuits are not *always* bullshit. Some lawsuits are completely legitamite.

            Ni! I say, Ni at you! Patent lawsuits are *always* bullshit. There are no Geniuses. There are only "individuals ordinarily skilled in the art". Edison did not invent the light bulb, he improved it with argon. Tesla did not invent A/C. Bell did not invent the Telephone. You have no Geniuses. That is wool in your eyes.

            Let me tell you how patents are made. An individual ordinarily skilled in the arts, charged with creating solutions to problems as a requirement of their very employment, goes about

            • NO ONE IS SEARCHING THE PATENT DATABASE

              As a design engineer, I had the choice of either searching the patent database or not, and sometimes the choice was made deliberately. Violating someone else's patent makes my company vulnerable to damages, but knowingly violating opens up the possibility of triple damages. So, subject to management advice and my judgement, I either design without looking, or look and then design in a manner to avoid infringing. I never incorporate patented material into my design, te

        • by umghhh (965931)
          Was NK involved in an of this?
  • Google (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can we stop pretending that Motorola is a separate company. It's Google. Motorola is now just a brand owned by Google. The company calling the shots is Google.

    • Can we stop pretending that Motorola is a separate company. It's Google. Motorola is now just a brand owned by Google. The company calling the shots is Google.

      Google may own Motorola Mobility, but as part of that they agreed to having a hands-off management approach. So no, Google is not necessarily calling the shots at Motorola, and most of these lawsuits (as far MS, Apple, and Motorola are concerned) were brought before Google purchased Motorola - or as result of actions before Google purchased Motorola. Motorola had been trying to get them to pay up for nearly a decade or so.

  • by flayzernax (1060680) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:15PM (#43425571)

    That had the scrolly features patched away because of one of these lawsuits and sees what kind of bullshit this is. This quite literally happened to one of my friends phones after all this debacle about using the finger to scroll shit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:15PM (#43425577)

    The judge should ask Apple if it plans to be in business 200 years from today.
    When Apple says yes, the judge should suspend the suit and schedule another hearing in 100 years.
    To an immortal corporation, a "speedy trial" can easily be measured in centuries.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Their share holders wont be alive then. As its Apple's responsibility to maximise return to share holders then they cannot possibly wait that long.

      • Their share holders wont be alive then. As its Apple's responsibility to maximise return to share holders then they cannot possibly wait that long.

        Apple's? Maybe.
        The Judge's? Absolutely not.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Showing that much sense in Florida is against the state constitution, especially by a public official.

    The guy is going to get impeached.

  • Next your going to tell me that portable devices have over inflated prices just to turn a larger profit.
  • As time goes on it seems that Googles Patent buy is looking better and better value. With Motorola streamlined, its phones finally with 4.x software on, an exciting launch of the X phone to look forward to, and its nice to hear that they can effectively stand up against patent rapists Apples.

    • How sad it must be to run Motorola and see all of your hard work at developing the company basically turn in to a multibillion dollar patent portfolio.
      • How sad it must be to run Motorola and see all of your hard work at developing the company basically turn in to a multibillion dollar patent portfolio.

        FYI Motorola still sell phones...and some good ones. Keep your eye out for the Xphone it might just be your next smartphone :)

        • Nope. I'm digging my Galaxy 4. I don't ever want to sign a cell phone contract again.
        • How sad it must be to run Motorola and see all of your hard work at developing the company basically turn in to a multibillion dollar patent portfolio.

          FYI Motorola still sell phones...and some good ones. Keep your eye out for the Xphone it might just be your next smartphone :)

          I'm still waiting for the Google Pinball machine. Motorola made some good ones in the day.

  • Mod the Judge up (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TuckerBag (2644679)
    Sounds like a sensible response from the judge. But what is the long term solution here? Maybe there needs to be a mechanism for disallowing "obvious" ideas to be patented. But then there is the problem of defining what is "obvious". There must be some pretty boring/bored patent lawyers out there.
    • The judge should just schedule one claim at a time for status conferences, lets say once a month, with mandatory attendance of all parties. That's 15 years of monthly trips to Florida, if everybody shows up every time. After a couple years I'm sure the lawyers will have worked it out.
    • by JustNiz (692889)

      >> Sounds like a sensible response from the judge

      Nope. He could and should have just thrown out all claims from both sides.

      • >> Sounds like a sensible response from the judge

        Nope. He could and should have just thrown out all claims from both sides.

        Meh, this way, they can't immediately re-file. I disagree.

  • The judge should complain to the law makers.
  • Awesome (Score:2, Interesting)

    Its time that Judge's start to call this for what it is, grandstanding and overt bullying by companies unwilling to work together and instead harm each other through their patent portfolio.

    I definitely think the bubble has burst on software patents and judges and lawmakers are getting annoyed with the abuse by companies like Apple.

    Its funny though that just a year ago, while Apple was riding high as the world's most valued company, judges were quick to rule in favour of Apple, now judges are just tired of t

    • by ace37 (2302468)

      Do you feel the Microsoft Windows Phone licensing model fits this royalty and licensing model you suggest? Many on Slashdot claimed that the licensing approach they deployed was simply extortion to increase the cost of Android to match Windows Phone.

      Fairly pricing your royalty and licensing costs for patents have always been an issue, a la Xerox. Of course, that's sort of exactly what the patent system is designed to enable - it grants a temporary monopoly to a business in exchange for public disclosure of

    • Its funny though that just a year ago, while Apple was riding high as the world's most valued company, judges were quick to rule in favour of Apple, now judges are just tired of the same old bullshit.

      It's actually been more like 1 year, 6 months and six 6 days since the beginning of Apple's decline in the public eye.

      What we are seeing is the steady unraveling of Steve Job's reality distortion field (patent pending). Things seem to have been turning around - for the worse - for Apple ever since their blessed

  • You made your stupid patent bed, now you must slumber stupidly in it.
  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @03:12PM (#43426195) Homepage

    Claiming the parties' were engaged in 'obstreperous and cantankerous conduct', he said that the lawsuit was part of 'a business strategy that appears to have no end.'

    Motorola lawyer: Yeah.
    Apple lawyer: And?
    Judge: *long pause* *deep sigh* Very well. *gets up, starts walking towards lawyers* I believe, at this point, I am legally permitted, by the great State of Florida, to dope-slap the both of you. Not only am I permitted to do so, I may be legally required as well, something I am not about to question. Please turn around.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday April 11, 2013 @04:10PM (#43427011)

    Apple has been pulling this crap since way before Google even existed.

    The history of this lawsuit, and much of Apple's legal shananagins, prove this without a doubt.

    Apple is pedatory, and loves to abuse the legal system. Google, not so much.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Apple is pedatory, and loves to abuse the legal system. Google, not so much.

      Oh, so that's why the new Macbooks came with a bear logo.

  • Just invalidate all the patents both sides claim and move the case over to the Moot Court of the nearest law school.

  • This is why we're supposed to try patent infringement cases in East Texas - by contrast to TFA, justices there love it when patent lawyers use the courtroom as a vehicle to advance their employers' business strategy. Was the docket full? Or else how did the defendant manage to get the venue changed?
  • Obstreperous and cantankerous, you say? Why, I haven't heard such utterances since my carriage driver commented on -- I daresay lamented -- my choice of mustache-wax.

  • Simple solution: make patents (and copyrights) only worth a limited amount. $100K, $1million, pick a number. The patent (or copyright) is only good until you've reached that amount of income from any source (INCLUDING LAWSUITS).

    Just for fun, no company worth more than $100K should be allowed to own a patent (or copyright).

    Now *that* will spur creation of new ideas, not hoarding a ridiculous legal battles that clog the system.

    Patent trolls: dead.
    Greedy companies: dead.
    Small companies: in with a fig

    • Just for fun, no company worth more than $100K should be allowed to own a patent (or copyright)

      Patent Troll company has net worth of $90,000.
      Patent Troll company gets judgement of $500 million.
      Patent Troll company distributes $500 million to its owners
      Patent Troll company has net worth of $90,000.
      Profit!

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