We have previously written about a global injunction battle between Microsoft and Motorola over IP / patents in the popular Xbox devices for games, DVD playing, etc., mostly games. As tweeted yesterday, PTO Chief compared these smartphone IP battles to steam engine and sewing machine IP disputes of their day and says these types of battles are to be expected.
Apple, like MS, has an ongoing battle with Motorola / Google over Google’s Android based devices, which are manufactured by more than one company. Last week, U.S. Circuit Richard A. Posner, sitting by designation, issued an order ECF No. 1028 in Apple v. Motorola, 11-cv-08540, canceling the trial on money damages, finding neither party could show a genuine issue of material fact regarding their alleged damages. Judge Posner left open the possibility that he might change his mind issue an order in favor of Apple on their motion for an injunctive or declaratory relief. Motorola argues the court lacks jurisdiction to issue declaratory relief.
FOSS Patents provides excellent coverage of these ongoing smartphone disputes, including coverage of the jurisdictional issue as to whether or not the district court should “declare” whether or not Motorola’s device infringes Apple’s patents. Apple argues that such declaration is needed given the resources put into the existing case and would prevent need for a trial if remanded by the Federal Circuit. According to FOSS, Apple is seeking declaratory relief which it hopes to leverage as against bother manufacturers of the Android device. Google argues there is no jurisdiction if damages will not be awarded as against Motorola. Apple would likely plan to use the declaratory judgment in its cases against other Android based device manufacturers, like LG, HTC and others.
As with the MS / Motorola disputes, Apple has other Android cases in different jurisdictions. In one case in Miami, Apple recently added HTC as a party in what some might say is an attempt to delay the trial of the matter. As per the link at HTC in prior sentence, news on this subject is evolving on a moment-by-moment basis in district courts, foreign countries and in the ITC. The opportunities for factual development, including even what FOSS refers to as the rent-a-patent model, and creativity in forum selection and claims selected are seemingly endless.
Judge Posner’s order states he will issue a final order within a week, which would be by this Thursday, June 14, 2012. Stay tuned. If Apple gets declaratory relief, this Chicago case is likely going up on appeal.
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