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Judge Posner heaps scorn on errant Apple order challenge

updated 08:45 pm EDT, Tue April 3, 2012

Misinterpretation 'unprofessional and unacceptable

Federal Judge Richard A. Posner, in rejecting an motion to reconsider parts of his favorable Claim Construction Order of March 29th that adopted Apple's broad interpretation of its scrolling patent against Motorola, ripped into the unnamed Apple attorneys that filed the brief [PDF link], calling it "troubling" and accusing Apple of wasting the court's time. The lawyers had apparently misinterpreted a section of the judge's original order and made arguments that parts of the order were in error.

In his response, Posner details exactly where Apple's attorneys misinterpreted him, reached conclusions that were the opposite of what the order called for, and summarily dismissed the arguments Apple was making. In doing so, he said that "there can be no substantive response to this argument of Apple's, for it argues not against my order but against Apple's mirage of that order."

The four-page response rails about the amount of time needed for both Apple to have written the faulty argument, and for Posner to compose his detailed reply: "Yet it seems that Apple brought about this expenditure of scarce resources without first making a careful reading of the page or so of my order against which this motion is launched. Such inconsiderate sloppiness is unprofessional and unacceptable," Posner wrote.

He also addresses the sole point of the reconsideration request that made "an argument that might not be talking past my order entirely," and rejects Apple's attempt to bring up a new argument, saying a motion to reconsider may not be used to make a point Apple had failed to bring up in earlier briefings. The original order from Posner was a crucial victory for the company in its lawsuit against Motorola, since it rejected Motorola's argument that the patent on vertical finger-swiping was only valid at certain angles.

Posner has expressed some exasperation at both parties in the course of the suit, for example pointing out to Motorola in his original order that "I reject Motorola's [finger-angle] argument (this is the third time they've made it, and the third time I've rejected it)." The ruling means Motorola is almost certain to be found in violation of the patent unless they can show some other compelling reason that the patent should be wholly invalidated. Though related to hardware implementations of touchscreen technology, the ruling could have a significant impact on Android if Motorola and others are forced to either license the patent or come up with different touchscreen heuristic methodologies.

by MacNN Staff



  1. thinkman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Was poor little judge Whampner...... I mean Posner's fragile ego bruised? Although one of my dearest friends is a judge (primarily juvenile justice), most of the others I've met or known are the height of arrogance and full of self importance! This pill seems to fit that description.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Typical

    Yes, most people love having their time wasted because people don't bother reading and responding to what they asked. Personally, I love going to, say, a car dealership, ask about the sedan over here, and listen to a 20 minute dissertation on the greatness of the SUV I have no interest in.

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple lawyers incompetent - again

    This isn't the first time Apple's lawyers have been shown to be incompetent and sloppy. There was the case of the 9 yr old girl sent a legal warning for offering iPod improvements to Apple; then there is the issue of the lack of Trademarking for the i prefix to products. This latest is one of the sloppiest though.

    Steve Jobs was well known for not wanting anything to do with "business" which is why he left accountancy software to the PC and why even now iWork is incomplete as a business productivity software, so I suspect the kind of lawyers he chose reflected this bias. Shame really. I use a Mac at home and work and would love to roll out Macs to everyone, but the lack of focus on business needs is hurting Apple - not all businesses always buy the cheapest on offer.

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