Feeds

Judge scolds Apple, Motorola for using court as 'business strategy'

Fed up with 'obstreperous and cantankerous conduct'

The judge responsible for the painfully complex patent litigation between Apple and Motorola Mobility has had it up to here with the legal machinations of the two companies, and has denied a request to step in and whittle the case down to a manageable size.

"Most parties that come before the Court are trying to resolve their legal dispute as expeditiously, efficiently, and fairly as possible so that they can get on with their business or personal lives," wrote judge Robert Scola, Jr. of the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida in his Tuesday ruling.

"But in the present case," he continued, "the parties' obstreperous and cantankerous conduct ... makes it plain that the parties have no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute; they instead are using this and similar litigation worldwide as a business strategy that appears to have no end. That is not a proper use of this court."

At issue is litigation that now involves over 180 claims asserted from 12 patents – a "greatly expanded" scope from the original suit, filed in January 2012. "Without a hint of irony," Scola wrote, "the parties now ask the Court to mop up the mess they made by holding a hearing to reduce the size and complexity of the case. The Court declines the invitation."

Rather than step in and host a case-management conference to streamline the case, Scola has instead granted plaintiff Motorola and defendant Apple their request for more time to prepare for a Markman process, in which the litigants will narrow the case themselves.

"Since that puts the onus where it belongs," Scola wrote, "that is what the Court will do."

The Markman hearing will be held on September 20, 2013. Does any Reg reader want to bet that Apple and Motorola will not be able to narrow the scope of the case by that date, and that the litigation will drag on further?

After all, if Scola's analysis is correct, this lawsuit is a "business strategy that has no end," and not a good-faith search for clarity. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.