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Patents The Courts Apple

Posner Dismisses Apple/Motorola Case, With Prejudice 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-out-and-stay-out dept.
whisper_jeff writes "Judge Posner has dismissed the patent case between Apple and Motorola, with prejudice (meaning they can't refile), putting an end to this patent dispute between the two companies. Posner wrote, 'Both parties have deep pockets. And neither has acknowledged that damages for the infringement of its patents could not be estimated with tolerable certainty.' I know many on Slashdot will be happy to hear Apple's lawsuit failed; I am happier to hear that Motorola has been prevented from abusing FRAND patents, a situation I feel could set a very bad, very dangerous precedent for the entire industry."
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Posner Dismisses Apple/Motorola Case, With Prejudice

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:22AM (#40419225)

    Has a court case over patents ever not been settled? Seems to me like they're deliberately avoiding judicial scrutiny by bailing just before software patents are determined to be valid or not.

  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:26AM (#40419393)
    And that's a good thing. The Free Software community shouldn't get suckered into using proprietary formats. We're here for the long haul, not to line some turtleneck sporting CEO's pockets.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:25AM (#40419533)

    Apple doesn't want to pay any fees at all, let alone a fairly standard 2.5%. They see FRAND and think 'free'.

    That's a goddamned lie.

    Apple participates in many patent pools themselves, and they have no issue with paying the same license fees as anyone else. Motorola didn't want to license the radio patents to Apple like they do to everyone else, because they want to use them to get Apple to give up all of the iPhone UI patents.

  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:35AM (#40419555)
    Isn't this bad news for all of those companies who think they've built a huge defensive portfolio of patents to use in countersuits? Even fairly legitimate patents at that. The disinterested observer doesn't have to work very hard to conclude that Motorola's patents are fundamental to cellular phones and are therefore very valuable, while Apple's software patents are worthless duplicates of other people's ideas that shouldn't even be eligible for patent protection in the first place. Despite this enormous disparity, Motorola's countersuit, intended to defend themselves against Apple's foray into legal brigandage, is also dismissed with prejudice. So the fundamental hardware patents they own are useless to them as a defensive mechanism.

    Motorola has to be very unhappy right now. Even if their fundamental hardware patents are legitimate and valuable, one of the world's largest smartphone manufacturers has successfully avoided paying royalties for them, forever.

    So giant patent portfolios are worth... what, exactly?
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Saturday June 23, 2012 @05:06AM (#40419635)

    Really? Tell me how Mozilla justifies paying on average $60Million for software development ($88Million in general salaries), bearing in mind that if all their 250 or so employees are only costed against software development, then that gives them an average salary of $245,000. Of course, rough numbers all based off the 2010 financials, and I low balled the calculations deliberately because not all those 250 or so employees are costed against software development...

    Mozilla, long the poster child for open source, seems certainly to be in it for the money... I wonder how much their CEO gets.

    Also interesting is the list of investments Mozilla has - hedge funds, corporate funds etc etc etc.

    http://static.mozilla.com/moco/en-US/pdf/Mozilla%20Foundation%20and%20Subsidiaries%202010%20Audited%20Financial%20Statement.pdf [mozilla.com]

  • by iserlohn (49556) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @05:50AM (#40419765) Homepage

    I'm guessing not all of the money in the software development budget so to the software developers salaries - you have the overhead of hiring the employees, including desk space, HR, etc. You have expenses related to software development including test infrastructure, external testing, etc. Furthermore, you would also have parts of it going to any contractors that would not be counted in the headcount.

    For me, I use Firefox a lot and I'm glad that they are financially healthy. Mozilla is tiny compared to the behemoths and it's nice to know that it's not going away soon because of mismanaged finances.

Cobol programmers are down in the dumps.

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