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Apple-Moto patent punchup can come into court, says judge

But you're not exactly blowing my judicial skirt up here

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The US judge who "tentatively" dismissed an Apple v Motorola case last week has decided to give the companies another chance to prove each other wrong with an injunction hearing.

Judge Richard Posner said in a court filing yesterday that he had decided to grant Apple's request for an injunction hearing before he makes his final ruling, setting the date for the showdown for 20 June.

Last week Posner said that he couldn't find enough evidence for damages on either side of the patent divide so he cancelled the start of the trial and tentatively dismissed the whole case. But he also said that the ruling wasn't final and he'd issue a fuller opinion this week.

Apple had thrown in a last ditch attempt to keep the case alive with a request for a hearing on injunctions, which Posner has now granted.

"Each party may argue that it would be entitled to injunctive relief as to its patent or patents were the other party found to have infringed," he said.

Either firm can submit briefs by Monday, should they wish to do so, but they'll have to rely on evidence that was already in the existing record.

Posner also warned Motorola, which has just one patent left in the case, that if it was going to argue for an injunction against Apple, it would have to be prepared to "address the bearing of FRAND".

It's unclear why Posner has changed his mind about throwing the case out, he may just want to hear the firms argue once more before deciding on his final ruling or he may want to ensure that the companies have less grounds for appeal by exhausting their legal options now. ®

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