It is being said by some people that Judge Richard Posner recently dismissed Apple’s smartphone patent claims against Motorola “with prejudice.” For those of you who are not familiar with the terminology, it means that the assertions cannot be reargued in front of that particular court.
In the past, Judge Posner temporarily canceled Apple’s trial in early June. He cited lack of injury but decided to rehear the case two weeks later. During the second hearing Apple argued for injunctive relief against Motorola’s alleged infringement on four patents. Patents named by Apple involved heuristics, User Interface (UI) elements, and wireless technology.
The court was not keen on the assertions. Nor the court was interested in Apple’s injunction request where the Cupertino, California-based company asked Motorola to switch to its own solution within three months. On the basis of court documents, Judge Posner recommended that Apple license the technology to Motorola. He saw an injunction being “catastrophic” and harmful to consumers. Posner noted that issuing an injunction would not necessarily stop Apple from reasserting the same claims when Motorola switched to another solution three months later.
According to Judge Posner:
“It would be ridiculous to dismiss a suit for failure to prove damages and allow the plaintiff to refile the suit so that he could have a second chance to prove damages. This case is therefore dismissed with prejudice; a separate order to that effect is being entered today.”
The ruling has ended one legal battle that Apple had been fighting in. However, there are still many patent infringement lawsuits on the horizon.