It was Google Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary Motorola Mobility which first sued Apple, Inc. (AAPL), but now it is Apple who is fighting to keep its case alive in Chicago federal court.
I. Last Chance for Apple’s Motorola Case
Judge Richard A. Posner, a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge who moonlighted in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois(Chicago), tossed Apple and Motorola Mobility’s (a Google Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary) suits/countersuits out of court “with prejudice” during the first week of June. He was upset about both companies’ refusal to place a realistic evaluations of their patents’ worth (both companies reportedly lofted astronomical figures).
Apple was very unhappy about the dismissal and petitioned Judge Posner to reconsider. Despite his past frustration with Apple’s legal team, Judge Posner had a change of heart and granted Apple one last chance — a preliminary injunction hearing:
Apple v. Motorola
Do note that he warned Motorola to be prepared to justify its use of fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) standards patents in its lawsuit against Apple — a thorny issue that has led to many a complaint from Apple and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).
According to Reuters, that case is being presented this afternoon. For both Apple and Motorola, it represents one last chance to ban each other’s products. But it seems to be more important to Apple, given the great lengths it went to, to try to cajole Judge Posner back into one last hearing.
II. Samsung Wins Licensing Fees in the Netherlands
Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, a Netherlands court has delivered a key ruling in the favor of Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) the world’s largest smartphone maker.
A Dutch court found that Apple’s iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, first-generation iPad, and iPad 2 were in violation of Samsung’s European Patent 1188269. The patent covers “Apparatus for Encoding a Transport Format Combination Indicator for a Communication System” — a key FRAND 3G technology.
The same court last year denied Samsung the right to ban the infringing Apple products, saying that was not permittable to do with a FRAND patent. But in the end Samsung won a smaller victory regardless, forcing Apple to pay for a technology it has thus far refused to license.
A Dutch court agreed that Apple “stole” or “copied” Samsung’s 3G technology without paying it the neccessary licensing fees. Now Apple must pay up.
Samsung’s biggest victory, perhaps, to date came when it denied Apple’s hopes of a Galaxy S III sales ban. With no next generation product announced, a panicked Apple pleaded with Northern District of California (San Jose/San Francisco) Judge Lucy Koh to hold emergency sessions in the hope of banning the hot new Samsung flagship phone.
Judge Koh silenced Apple’s cries telling its lawyers that they could not monopolize her time.
Apple will still have a shot at banning Galaxy S III sales, but it will come at a later date, after the launch. That means Apple will have to do the last thing it wanted to have to do — compete.
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