updated 07:19 pm EDT, Mon July 22, 2013
Both parties fight original dismissal
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has scheduled the first cross-appeal hearing in an Apple v. Motorola lawsuit focusing on patent infringement and FRAND licensing. As noted by patent analyst Florian Mueller, attorneys are set to meet on September 11. Judge Richard A. Posner, who presided over the original case, heard arguments from both sides before dismissing with prejudice all claims and counterclaims, forcing the companies to appeal the dismissal decision itself.
Judge Posner had expressed frustration with arguments from both sides, claiming neither company showed proof of material harm from alleged infringement. Attorneys were further accused of misinterpreting orders and failing to calculate appropriate damages for the claims.
Initial decisions appeared to side with Apple, as Judge Posner agreed with many of Apple's interpretations of its touchscreen heuristics patent in the infringement claims against Motorola. The Cupertino-based company later appeared to frustrate the judge, who accused attorneys of "inconsiderate sloppiness" that was "unprofessional and unacceptable."
Microsoft and Intel both filed amicus briefs with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, arguing in support of Apple and calling for part of Posner's earlier ruling, regarding standards-essential patents (SEPs) and FRAND licensing, to be upheld on appeal.
In a follow-up interview with Reuters, Posner argued against the need for software patents and suggested the smartphone industry is already suffering from an overabundance of patents. The rise of Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platform has led to a wide range of lawsuits between competitors. The judge further claimed many of the lawsuits are being used as a competitive tool, making it inappropriate to ban an entire phone based on a patent related to a single minor feature.