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Patents The Almighty Buck The Courts Apple

Apple Wins $625.5 Million Ruling Over Cover Flow 113

An anonymous reader writes "A federal judge has reversed a $625.5 million judgement against Apple in a patent infringement lawsuit pertaining to Apple's Cover Flow feature. The lawsuit was filed by Mirror Worlds, a company founded by Yale professor Dave Gelertner. 'Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law,' US District Judge Leonard Davis explained in his decision."
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Apple Wins $625.5 Million Ruling Over Cover Flow

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  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:30AM (#35718958)

    . . . Of money. A solid foundation of money.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:42AM (#35719060)

    Though Gelertner’s patents were upheld by the court, Judge Davis threw out the $625.5 million damage award and closed the case in Apple’s favor.

    Isn't this like saying "Apple infringed on your patents, but they won't have to pay anything. Have a nice day."

    "You have successfully convinced me you have a nice patent. You have not convinced me it has anything whatsoever to do with Apple, or VLM at /., or chemicaldave at /. or pretty much anything else"

  • by varmittang ( 849469 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:43AM (#35719076)

    Apple didn't infringe the patents, so the patents are fine and not invalidated, and continue to sue others. But, the patents just don't apply to what Apple has done, so Apple doesn't need to pay a fine for not infringing on the patents.
  • Re:So ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @09:30AM (#35719580) Journal

    No, it's a step in the wrong direction. The precedent[1] set by this is that companies with a lot of lawyers are probably safe from patent trolls. Apple gets to keep being a cheerleader for software patents and to keep enforcing their software patents against other companies.

    The best outcome would have been for this to have stood up. $625.5m is not a small amount of money, even to a company like Apple. A few more of these, and the patent system starts to be seen as a liability for big companies, rather than as a mechanism from keeping out smaller competition from entering the market.

    [1] not in the legal sense

  • by TheVelvetFlamebait ( 986083 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @02:24PM (#35723024) Journal

    No uncorrupt judge could have made that verdict, therefore the judge is corrupt, therefore his findings are invalid.

    FTFY. Why should we give any more credence to you, than you gave to the judge for using the same line of argument?

    If the lawyer failed to make a solid case, but the jury were impressed, then the judge should step in as a course of duty. Sometimes proof differs from conviction, and arguments that impress a jury may be, in fact, riddled with holes. Say, for example, you were accused of paedophellia, and the prosecutor simply screemed at the jury rhetorical questions like, "Do you want a man like this near your kids?", or "How can we be sure he isn't going to rape your daughter?", and the jury convicted you on these grounds alone, would you not prefer that the judge point out that no case has been established?

    As a final point (although at this point it's probably useless given the apparent void of any critical thought here on /. regarding accusations of corruption of people in positions of perceived power), why would a judge risk a stable, well-paying job, his freedom, and his legacy, for a few mac pros? I mean, his decision will be published, and it is witnessed by several parties in the court at the time. If there was no substantiating evidence for the validity of his opinion, such a void of evidence would be apparent to anyone (with sufficient knowledge) who reads the decision. It seems, therefore, unlikely that the judge would do anything so overt as to throw the decision to apple for anything less than extremely substantial material gain (more than a few mac pros, or a few hundred thousand dollars), and it seems unlikely for apple to attempt such a bribery at such a steep going rate.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"