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10-24-2012, 11:31 PM #1
Judge Removes Self From Siri Patent Case
A recent suit against Apple over the company’s digital assistant Siri has already lost the judge originally set to preside over the case.
District Court Judge Gary Sharpe stepped down from the case claiming “Any conduct that would lead a reasonable [person] knowing the circumstances to the conclusion that the judge’s ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned’ is a basis for the judge’s disqualification.”
Sharpe’s “interest” in Apple is never specifically stated, but one would venture a guess it involves owning stock in the company. Or he happens to be a giant Apple zealot.
The case in question is over a patent owned by Dynamic Advances, an LLC based in Texas. The patent, called 798 Patent, was not invented by Dynamic Advances, but is instead a voice recognition technology patent the company has exclusively licensed from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In fact, Dynamic Advances was reportedly created last year by Erich Spangenber, a patent troll known for suing companies even if there is little legal standing.
The complaint filed by Dynamic Advances claims 798 patent has been cited numerous times in patent applications by the likes of Hewlett-PAckard, Microsoft, IBM, Sony, Google, and Apple. The complaint even claims Apple cited the patent in at least three different patent applications.
With Sharpe off the case, District Court Judge David Hurd will take over the lawsuit.