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Judge Posner Rejects Apple's Bid to Ban Motorola Phones

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73Apple appears to have had a little bit of a set back in court yesterday as Judge Richard Posner (the same one that threw Apple’s complaint about a week ago) told Apple quite simply that imposing a sales ban on Motorola’s products would have catastrophic effects. This type of decision is happening more and more where one company demands a ban on the other. What the legal system is waking up to is that the ban on imports and sales are hurting businesses and the economy. They are also beginning to understand that the threat of a ban is not being used to protect IP, but to limit competition.

Now interestingly Apple’s lawyers are now trying to claim that all they want is for Motorola to remove the infringing technology from their devices. Of course if that was what they wanted that is what they would have asked for first instead of an outright ban on the products. Posner felt that even this was anti-competitive and suggested that licensing the technology would be a far preferable state. If Motorola (or any competitor) was forced to present products with inferior technology it hurt the consumer and the market as a whole.

Apple does not like licensing its technology to the completion if it can help it. To the same degree they do not like licensing other people’s technology and often include it as long as it is covered under FRAND (Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) laws. In face Apple just lost a suit in Holland for violating a Samsung FRAND Patent which according to Samsung they have been violating since 2010.

We hope that Posner’s ruling today and the push to make companies deal with Patent issues out of court through licensing and not attempts to ban or block each other’s products is the way things are heading. We have already seen other judges rule against Apple in Holland, Australia, and now in the US. Even Judge Lucy Koh recently told Apple that they could not monopolize the courts time with their continual requests.

If nothing else some of these issues should make law makers take a long look at the patent system and how badly it is being abused.

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Last modified on Thursday, 21 June 2012 09:23
Sean Kalinich

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