The court has canceled the much-anticipated patent infringement trial between Apple and Motorola Mobility, at least for now. Judge Richard A. Posner concluded that neither side has demonstrated that it is entitled to relief.
"I have tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief," he wrote in an order. The judge further indicated that he would delay entry of judgment until he had prepared a full opinion in about a week. But he also left the door open. “I may change my mind,” he said.
While Judge Posner’s tentative decision was unconventional, the case began to show signs of weakness after Posner whittled down the number of patents in dispute, leaving Apple with infringement claims for just two patents. Motorola originally only alleged infringement of one patent in its countersuit.
Ultimately, Posner concluded that the parties’ damages theories, as presented by their experts, didn’t hold water and, therefore, did not merit consideration by the jury.
"I tentatively conclude that [Apple’s] admissible evidence of damages with respect to [its] claims do not create a genuine issue of material fact enabling it to withstand Motorola's motion for summary judgment," Posner explained.
He further concluded that Motorola's damages evidence also "fails to create a genuine issue of material fact."
Finally, Judge Posner also rejected the parties’ dueling requests for injunctive relief. The costs of an injunction would be disproportionate to the patent holders’ harm or the patent infringer’s benefit and “would be contrary to the public interest,” Posner said in his order.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the legal battles between Apple and Motorola are over. The two sides are still sparring in several other lawsuits across the globe.
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