AmiCOUR IP Group News and Opinions

Judge Posner:
No Relief for Apple or Motorola Mobility

Forbidden Design:
Apple Obtains Injunctive Relief Against Samsung

Microsoft Monopoly:
EU Upholds Record Fine


Welcome to the AmiCOUR IP Blog.  We invite your comments.  Past Issues.

June 7, 2012  - In an unusual order, Northern District of Illinois Judge Richard A. Posner stated he "tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief." The case is one of several high profile patent cases involving Apple and, in this dispute, Motorola Mobility (now Google).

The Order explained that the parties' submissions and admissions had failed to withstand summary judgment, leaving the case absent a genuine issue of material fact. The order then addressed the question of injunctive relief. Here, the Order states: "the parties believe that damages are an adequate remedy for the alleged infringements though they failed to present evidence on damages strong enough to withstand summary judgment, and because injunctive relief would impose costs disproportionate to the harm to the patentee and the benefit of the alleged infringement to the alleged infringer and would be contrary to the public interest, I cannot find a basis for an award of injunctive relief."

Finally, the Order concludes by saying there is more to come, "But all this requires a fuller explanation, which I will endeavor to provide in my opinion; I expect to issue it within a week."

June 27, 2012  - In an unusual ruling for ornamental design patent protection,  a California Judge determined the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to be substantially similar "in the eyes of the ordinary observer" to the patent D504,889.  The comparison was to Apple's iPad and iPad 2 and resulted in a ban of imports of the Samsung and requirement that Samsung post a seven figure surety bond.  The design patent was previously found invalid but the decision was later reversed by a higher court.

June 28, 2012  - A 2004 European Union antitrust action returned to haunt Microsoft after appeal and failure to correct its violations despite being ordered to do so. In USD, the amount of the fine equated to1.1 billion. In 2006, the case took an unusual turn when a report prepared by a reverse engineering firm was delivered to Microsoft with notice of failure to comply with the 2004 order. Ironically, reverse engineering work is normally used to perform technical  investigations intended to protect intellectual property rights, and uphold the statutory right to exclude others from making using, or selling, a patented invention. Wikipedia includes a history of the high profile case.