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  • Judge Who Junked Apple vs. Motorola Makes Headlines Himself


    Last month, MMi reported that Apple’s patent-infringement jury trial against Google-owned Motorola Mobility was effectively "cancelled" by the presiding judge. The trial was set to begin the following week.

    At the 11th hour, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner rejected each side’s damages arguments. “You have to prove injury,” Posner said. “I’m sorry that it seems to be petering out like this.” Posner’s ruling subsequently scrapped what would have been a major patent showdown between the two tech giants.

    This week, however, Posner is back in the headlines. And this time, he's the one making them. In one especially provocative portion of his interview with Reuters, Posner questioned the value of patents in many instances. "It's not clear that we really need patents in most industries," Posner said.

    A well-respected judge and widely-cited legal scholar, Posner suggests that power and money are the motivating forces behind many patent disputes that otherwise are petty and downright silly. He says the "technology industry's high profits and volatility made patent litigation attractive for companies looking to wound competitors." Let's not forget that it was Posner who, in May, told Apple's lawyers that their filings were "frivolous" and "untimely."

    "It's a constant struggle for survival," Posner said of the competing forces constantly at odds over patents. "As in any jungle, the animals will use all the means at their disposal, all their teeth and claws that are permitted by the ecosystem."

    To read the full report from Reuters, click here.

    Source: Reuters
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Judge Who Junked Apple vs. Motorola Makes Headlines Himself started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. eZStaR's Avatar
      eZStaR -
      So what he is saying is, it is fine to rip off other companies and their intellectual property for the sake of "competition."
    1. tridley68's Avatar
      tridley68 -
      Quote Originally Posted by eZStaR View Post
      So what he is saying is, it is fine to rip off other companies and their intellectual property for the sake of "competition."
      i sure do not want this guy defending me in any legal cases.
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Quote Originally Posted by eZStaR View Post
      So what he is saying is, it is fine to rip off other companies and their intellectual property for the sake of "competition."
      thats not what he's saying, he is saying that you should not be able to patent an idea, therefor if u make a wifi adapter someone else should be able to make one to even if u have a patent on your idea, because technically the patent is for your exact model on a variation of the product

      I agree with him its annoying how much these 2 companies bicker like little kids
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by BenderRodriguez View Post
      thats not what he's saying, he is saying that you should not be able to patent an idea, therefor if u make a wifi adapter someone else should be able to make one to even if u have a patent on your idea, because technically the patent is for your exact model on a variation of the product

      I agree with him its annoying how much these 2 companies bicker like little kids
      Then ezstar is right. Btw all patents are ideas.

      People get tunnel vision on apple cases and become biased against apple because they are suing. However they have perfect right they patented the idea and technology. If someone knowingly copies it apple has the right to sue them. Apple only sues big companies that should have taken note if they infringe an apple patent they should at least expect to get sued.
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      Then ezstar is right. Btw all patents are ideas.

      People get tunnel vision on apple cases and become biased against apple because they are suing. However they have perfect right they patented the idea and technology. If someone knowingly copies it apple has the right to sue them. Apple only sues big companies that should have taken note if they infringe an apple patent they should at least expect to get sued.
      I've said this many times before though. Apple shouldn't even have some patents in the first place. Patents were made to foster innovation, not stifle it. The patents they have are so ridiculous. For one, they get patents for things that have been around for years, that they didn't invent, such as their slide to unlock patent. Others are just so completely general someone was bound to use it in the future, or it can already apply to existing products.
    1. Dark_Ninja's Avatar
      Dark_Ninja -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gamemaster77 View Post
      I've said this many times before though. Apple shouldn't even have some patents in the first place. Patents were made to foster innovation, not stifle it. The patents they have are so ridiculous. For one, they get patents for things that have been around for years, that they didn't invent, such as their slide to unlock patent. Others are just so completely general someone was bound to use it in the future, or it can already apply to existing products.
      Dude exactly what I have saying this whole time.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      Then ezstar is right. Btw all patents are ideas.
      They are supposed to *specific* and *unambiguous* ideas that are supposed to be unique your product and not for something already in existence (hence the *unique* part.) The problem is a lot of the patents that have been invoked are incredibly ambiguous and are not unique to the product that they have been associated with, but instead apply to products that have been around for much longer. This should have been a violation of the patent code. The judge apparently recognizes this.
    1. Lohand's Avatar
      Lohand -
      I know the "Right Honorable" Judge Posner is sick of hearing billion dollar companies and their suits whining to him but he must know that the system with all its flaws is need to help protect small inventors/companies. So don't worry your honor, the recently signed into law AIA (America Invents Act) should help!
    1. eZStaR's Avatar
      eZStaR -
      Quote Originally Posted by BenderRodriguez View Post
      thats not what he's saying, he is saying that you should not be able to patent an idea, therefor if u make a wifi adapter someone else should be able to make one to even if u have a patent on your idea, because technically the patent is for your exact model on a variation of the product

      I agree with him its annoying how much these 2 companies bicker like little kids
      Quote Originally Posted by Gamemaster77 View Post
      I've said this many times before though. Apple shouldn't even have some patents in the first place. Patents were made to foster innovation, not stifle it. The patents they have are so ridiculous. For one, they get patents for things that have been around for years, that they didn't invent, such as their slide to unlock patent. Others are just so completely general someone was bound to use it in the future, or it can already apply to existing products.
      There are 2 things wrong with your statement. I understand that if some one patents a idea, which could be created by another person in that short period of time could be considered wrong. However, how do you know that Apple hasn't gone forward with the idea they have patented? Just today, there was news about how Apple got a patent of their own on "wearable eyeglasses," which is much more advanced than Google's Glasses. There might be a prototype in their labs which we might not know about, just like every idea they have gotten patented.

      Also, the case about Motorola was about patents which they were infringing, not patents which were not even used by Apple. This case kind of annoyed me because apparently you have to "show damages." That means, I can make a start up company, clone the iPhone and sell it. They try to sue me, but then judge says, you have to "show damages." See what I mean? Just because something doesn't cause you damages, doesn't mean they should be allowed to infringe on your intellectual property.
    1. PokemonDesigner's Avatar
      PokemonDesigner -
      I agree with this judge in every way!
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by eZStaR View Post
      There are 2 things wrong with your statement. I understand that if some one patents a idea, which could be created by another person in that short period of time could be considered wrong. However, how do you know that Apple hasn't gone forward with the idea they have patented? Just today, there was news about how Apple got a patent of their own on "wearable eyeglasses," which is much more advanced than Google's Glasses. There might be a prototype in their labs which we might not know about, just like every idea they have gotten patented.

      Also, the case about Motorola was about patents which they were infringing, not patents which were not even used by Apple. This case kind of annoyed me because apparently you have to "show damages." That means, I can make a start up company, clone the iPhone and sell it. They try to sue me, but then judge says, you have to "show damages." See what I mean? Just because something doesn't cause you damages, doesn't mean they should be allowed to infringe on your intellectual property.
      I'm still unclear on what the two things wrong you're saying are.
    1. alanjf's Avatar
      alanjf -
      Quote Originally Posted by eZStaR View Post
      This case kind of annoyed me because apparently you have to "show damages."
      The whole point of a law suit type litigation is to prove damage done upon you or your organization and reclaim the loses from said damages, from the other party, if so proven to be true. It is not meant to used as a tool for preventing competition. Building upon existing concepts has always been at the very heart of competition.

      That means, I can make a start up company, clone the iPhone and sell it. They try to sue me, but then judge says, you have to "show damages." See what I mean? Just because something doesn't cause you damages, doesn't mean they should be allowed to infringe on your intellectual property.
      Cloning the iPhone and selling (which actually does happen in places like China) is damaging, so it's a valid reason to take action for. Care to tell me how you could actually infringe on IP without causing damage to the original maker? Lastly, there is a huge difference between cloning and building upon existing concepts. The latter is what innovation is, and it is NOT valid grounds for a law suit UNLESS real damage/harm can be proven, otherwise anyone could just make such a claim.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gamemaster77 View Post
      I've said this many times before though. Apple shouldn't even have some patents in the first place. Patents were made to foster innovation, not stifle it. The patents they have are so ridiculous. For one, they get patents for things that have been around for years, that they didn't invent, such as their slide to unlock patent. Others are just so completely general someone was bound to use it in the future, or it can already apply to existing products.
      It doesn't matter how ridiculous or general the patents are, Apple still has them and the right to protect them. Anyone could say the same for Microsoft or Google, it doesn't mean it's right. If Apple was smart enough to patent the ideas before anyone else then they're really smart. It's a tough competition, that doesn't mean Google has to give up, they should just innovate and come out with something better than the slide to unlock gesture. I went and saw The Amazing Spiderman movie yesterday and there's a scene where he's opening a secure door in Oscorp, it was awesome, to put the code in was really cool, someone had a great idea for that! The only thing I could think about after was that I hope someone adds that to a smartphone! Anyway, this Judge sounds crazy.
    1. alanjf's Avatar
      alanjf -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      It doesn't matter how ridiculous or general the patents are, Apple still has them and the right to protect them
      Yes, but damages/harm still need to be proven.

      Anyone could say the same for Microsoft or Google, it doesn't mean it's right.
      This isn't solely about Apple at all, but has to do with any entity who misuses the system.

      If Apple was smart enough to patent the ideas before anyone else then they're really smart.
      This would be true if it weren't for the fact that so many of those patents weren't absurdly ambiguous. Patents are supposed to be for unique ideas, not existing ones that could be applies to nearly any prior computer system. What entities like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and many others have done here is outright commit fraud in getting these sort of patents in the system in the first place. When patents like "Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system", which is so vague it could actually apply to abacus, as it too is a type of computer and it has a "universal interface" for retrieving information, are even given consideration, let alone given a pass, then you can't tell me something isn't seriously wrong with the system. I don't care who is doing it, it's simply wrong.
    1. ChicagoV's Avatar
      ChicagoV -
      Quote Originally Posted by tridley68 View Post
      i sure do not want this guy defending me in any legal cases.
      ...he's a judge.
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      It doesn't matter how ridiculous or general the patents are, Apple still has them and the right to protect them. Anyone could say the same for Microsoft or Google, it doesn't mean it's right. If Apple was smart enough to patent the ideas before anyone else then they're really smart. It's a tough competition, that doesn't mean Google has to give up, they should just innovate and come out with something better than the slide to unlock gesture. I went and saw The Amazing Spiderman movie yesterday and there's a scene where he's opening a secure door in Oscorp, it was awesome, to put the code in was really cool, someone had a great idea for that! The only thing I could think about after was that I hope someone adds that to a smartphone! Anyway, this Judge sounds crazy.
      So you're saying that if I apply for a patent describing a method of walking by placing one foot forward and shifting my weight from the other food to the forward foot, then repeating back and forth, and the USPTO grants me said patent, then you would have no problem with me suing EVERYBODY for walking without paying me licensing fees? THAT is how "ridiculous or general" many of Apple's patents, and many many other patents, are.

      If this judge is crazy for throwing out cases based around such patents, then we clearly need more crazy judges.

      If you would actually read the Reuters interview instead of just believing all the crap people spout on this forum, you might not call him crazy at all.

      Quote Originally Posted by Kylemcg View Post
      Anyone who wants an awesome sources, go to XXXXX

      They are much better than modmyi's ****** repo, and they are FREE!!
      Spammers should just drop dead. Now.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by alanjf View Post
      Yes, but damages/harm still need to be proven.
      That has nothing to do with that fact that they have the right to protect their patents lol! No matter what the out come is Apple has the right to protect their patents...

      Quote Originally Posted by alanjf View Post
      This isn't solely about Apple at all, but has to do with any entity who misuses the system.

      Haha! That's the whole reason why I mentioned Microsoft and Google...duh!


      Quote Originally Posted by alanjf View Post
      This would be true if it weren't for the fact that so many of those patents weren't absurdly ambiguous. Patents are supposed to be for unique ideas, not existing ones that could be applies to nearly any prior computer system. What entities like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and many others have done here is outright commit fraud in getting these sort of patents in the system in the first place. When patents like "Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system", which is so vague it could actually apply to abacus, as it too is a type of computer and it has a "universal interface" for retrieving information, are even given consideration, let alone given a pass, then you can't tell me something isn't seriously wrong with the system. I don't care who is doing it, it's simply wrong.
      The whole point of my post was that it DOESN'T matter how general the patent is, Apple was awarded it, so they have a right to protect it! That's all I was saying! I could careless how general the patent is, they have one saying it's theirs, that's all that matters in the system. What part of that don't you understand? Or did you just want to argue? If that's the case then you're wasting your time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Rokesomesmeefer View Post
      So you're saying that if I apply for a patent describing a method of walking by placing one foot forward and shifting my weight from the other food to the forward foot, then repeating back and forth, and the USPTO grants me said patent, then you would have no problem with me suing EVERYBODY for walking without paying me licensing fees? THAT is how "ridiculous or general" many of Apple's patents, and many many other patents, are.

      If this judge is crazy for throwing out cases based around such patents, then we clearly need more crazy judges.

      If you would actually read the Reuters interview instead of just believing all the crap people spout on this forum, you might not call him crazy at all.
      Wow, you're looking into my post way too much lol! If the patent office awarded you a patent for walking then yes you could sue whoever you wanted, but there's no way in hell they would ever award you that, they're not stupid. Comparing those two things is ridiculous anyway. Of course that's just YOUR opinion on how general Apple's patents are, that doesn't mean it's even close to being right haha! Just because I called the Judge crazy doesn't mean he's bad, you just looked into my post way to deep and went off with your argument. So once again, the whole point of my post is that Apple has a right to protect their patents, it doesn't matter what the outcome is, everyone who is awarded a patent can fight for it! If you don't like that then go complain to the U.S. Government....
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      If Apple was smart enough to patent the ideas before anyone else then they're really smart.
      Just being a business doesn't excuse you from any moral obligation. If a business is exploiting an obviously broken system the business is too at fault. You say "they should just innovate and come out with something better than the slide to unlock gesture". Why shouldn't Apple have something better than the slide to unlock gesture? They didn't even invent it, Microsoft did.

      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      Anyone could say the same for Microsoft or Google, it doesn't mean it's right.
      I don't know why everyone brings this point up. Yes I know other companies also abuse the system, but this forum and post is about Apple. No reason to go talking about how others abuse it too.

      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      The whole point of my post was that it DOESN'T matter how general the patent is, Apple was awarded it, so they have a right to protect it! That's all I was saying! I could careless how general the patent is, they have one saying it's theirs, that's all that matters in the system. What part of that don't you understand? Or did you just want to argue? If that's the case then you're wasting your time.
      No it completely matters. They shouldn't have those patents, so the shouldn't be able to protect them.
    1. Stumbows's Avatar
      Stumbows -
      What he is saying is that companies use patents as a way of trying to hurt each other and we all know a lot of tech companies own patents that are downright so general it's impossible not to infringe on them and the filing for them has gotten out of hand. I can totally understand where this judge is coming from and the companies that are continually filing suits to push down the competition only helps them and not the consumer.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by tridley68 View Post
      i sure do not want this guy defending me in any legal cases.
      he won't defend you but he will pass judgment

      I agree with this guy the patent system is just used as a way to attack competitors, it's pathetic