Judge: "I've had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple"

In the war of litigation between Apple and Motorola, one Federal judge has had enough. Judge Richard A. Posner, who will preside over a patent lawsuit between Apple and Motorola in June, made the following comments when denying an Apple motion, according to FOSS Patents:

I deny the second half of Apple’s motion (seeking prohibition of the deposition) as frivolous and the first half (seeking substitution) as untimely. I've had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple. The next such motion, and I shall forbid it to file any motions without first moving for leave to file.

The comments were made in an order dated April 26, but didn't appear in public record until yesterday, April 30. Although Apple's motion itself has not yet been released, FOSS Patents states it was an attempt to deny Motorola from deposing an expert. Posner had previously denied a similar motion by Apple only three days earlier. Apple then filed this motion, which attempted to again prevent Motorola from deposing the expert on the grounds that the health problems of the expert's wife prevented him from being able to testify at the trial.

Posner's words come mere months after another judge, Chief Judge Gregory M. Sleet of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, chastised Apple for making a "disingenuous" argument in another lawsuit against Motorola. Sleet stated on Jan. 5 that Apple's argument appeared to be disingenuous to the court and that it "appear[ed] less than forthright."

Judge Posner is the "most-cited U.S. legal scholar of the 20th century," according to FOSS Patents, and will be sitting "by designation" on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which is handling the Apple v. Motorola case, despite being a circuit judge. 

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37 Comments

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Stupid apple thinks they invented the smart phone or something ****ing idiot morons your iphone is the weakest piece of **** on the market.

It's not Apple's fault. It's the patent system. That Apple (and all other companies like them) are granted massive amounts of general patents in the first place is the problem here! Because once a company is granted a patent, they are expected by the legal system to protect them, or else they will lose their value.

This kind of crap will go on for as long as the patent system works like it does today.

Of course, it's extra fun to cry foul about Apple since this is Neowin, but trust me -- this kind of crap won't stop regardless how many judges speak out like this. We need software and hardware patent reforms.

Once upon a time, patents were meant to encourage innovation. "You can't take my idea, so try innovate something even better!" That people often forget this is an indicator to how off course we are today.

Ahh this is link bait. You guys aren't understanding that this really isn't related to the lawsuit or an opinion that they are "frivolous" at all, more like the judges are really getting tired of the last min maneuvering by Apple to block testimony. It in no way speaks to the judge's position on the lawsuits.

Richeemxx said,
Ahh this is link bait. You guys aren't understanding that this really isn't related to the lawsuit or an opinion that they are "frivolous" at all, more like the judges are really getting tired of the last min maneuvering by Apple to block testimony. It in no way speaks to the judge's position on the lawsuits.

Where in the title or the article do they claim that it is the judge's position on the lawsuits?

The title is a direct quote. So do you feel that the Judge is trolling or Neowin?

kenboldt said,

Where in the title or the article do they claim that it is the judge's position on the lawsuits?

The title is a direct quote. So do you feel that the Judge is trolling or Neowin?

Oh c'mon give me a break here!! I'm not saying either are but clearly using the quote as is, is meant to infer the judge is tired of "Apple's frivolous lawsuits" rather than what is actually going on which is last min fillings to block testimony or evidence.

The comment about the judge's position is more related to the comments above and not the article itself.

Richeemxx said,
Ahh this is link bait. You guys aren't understanding that this really isn't related to the lawsuit or an opinion that they are "frivolous" at all, more like the judges are really getting tired of the last min maneuvering by Apple to block testimony. It in no way speaks to the judge's position on the lawsuits.

I'm not really sure how you would've preferred I write the title. His quote is pretty harsh, and the exact quote is the most important aspect of the story. Apple's lawyers tried pulling a petty tactic (bringing up the health condition of an expert's wife? I mean, come on), and the judge called them out for it.

<Samuel Lee Jackson>Enough is ENOUGH! I've had it with these mother****ing filings in this mother****ing court</Samuel Lee Jackson>

FISKER_Q said,
<Samuel Lee Jackson>Enough is ENOUGH! I've had it with these mother****ing filings in this mother****ing court</Samuel Lee Jackson>

you just made my day

FISKER_Q said,
<Samuel Lee Jackson>Enough is ENOUGH! I've had it with these mother****ing filings in this mother****ing court</Samuel Lee Jackson>

Brilliant

smooth3006 said,
i bet steve jobs is rolling in his grave about right now. bout time someone puts apple in their place.

No doubt. Steve never vowed to destroy Android. The judge statements probably causing Steve to roll in his grave though.

jjkusaf said,

No doubt. Steve never vowed to destroy Android. The judge statements probably causing Steve to roll in his grave though.

Huh? I'm pretty sure he did vow to destroy Android. At least that's what I read.

at least someone is finally starting to realize that Apple is just being a bully and attacking anyone who has ever made a phone with a touch screen on it.

littleneutrino said,
at least someone is finally starting to realize that Apple is just being a bully and attacking anyone who has ever made a phone with a touch screen on it.

while i understand that apple's just bullying other companies, i'd also say that this is the nature of the patent business. i'm pretty sure if samsung/google/motorola anyone else had come up with the idea and patented it, they would have milked it for all its worth. just look at microsoft's settlements with the android parts manufacturer, or even oracle.

jobs felt "backstabbed" when gates came out with windows and the licensing business model, he just couldn't do anything about it back then. when google did the same with android, he went at it with everything he had.

forgot to add - i'm happy with tim cook's approach of willingness to settle though. competition above litigation, always...

Arpit said,
forgot to add - i'm happy with tim cook's approach of willingness to settle though. competition above litigation, always...

Too little, too late

Arpit said,

while i understand that apple's just bullying other companies, i'd also say that this is the nature of the patent business. i'm pretty sure if samsung/google/motorola anyone else had come up with the idea and patented it, they would have milked it for all its worth. just look at microsoft's settlements with the android parts manufacturer, or even oracle.

jobs felt "backstabbed" when gates came out with windows and the licensing business model, he just couldn't do anything about it back then. when google did the same with android, he went at it with everything he had.

That's the point though, Microsoft don't have a sue first ask questions later approach like Apple do.

neo158 said,

That's the point though, Microsoft don't have a sue first ask questions later approach like Apple do.

yeah that's because microsoft's objective is the money to be made from suing, and jobs' objective was injunction, nothing more nothing less.

Arpit said,

yeah that's because microsoft's objective is the money to be made from suing, and jobs' objective was injunction, nothing more nothing less.

MS asks for royalty to use their patents "before suing".

Arpit said,
forgot to add - i'm happy with tim cook's approach of willingness to settle though. competition above litigation, always...

Like Tim Cook has a choice. Apple's losing lawsuits left and right. It's costing them a fortune and tarnishing their reputation and brand.

simrat said,

MS asks for royalty to use their patents "before suing".

You mean demands? Microsoft wants to rid itself of competition through high license fees, Apple wants to ban the competition's products. It's a different approach, but it has the same objective. Just look at B&N as an example.

You also have to remember Microsoft has never tested any of their patents in court like Apple has. Well until Microsoft vs Motorola that is, and one of its key patents (FAT) has already been invalidated by Linus Torvalds. Let's see how many of the others hold up in court.

simplezz said,

You mean demands? Microsoft wants to rid itself of competition through high license fees, Apple wants to ban the competition's products. It's a different approach, but it has the same objective. Just look at B&N as an example.

You also have to remember Microsoft has never tested any of their patents in court like Apple has. Well until Microsoft vs Motorola that is, and one of its key patents (FAT) has already been invalidated by Linus Torvalds. Let's see how many of the others hold up in court.

This was in the UK that this came up. In the US where the patent is from functions differently. All he had was a conversation online with an amiga user about how to implement both short and long names in the same system. MS implemented it. It's patent holds water in the US because they patented FAT and just having a technical conversation with someone even with documentation doesn't invalidate that without some kind of special circumstance. Anyways I would have imagine similar conversations took place within MS about this if they actually implemented a final version of Linus' conversation.

simplezz said,

You mean demands? Microsoft wants to rid itself of competition through high license fees, Apple wants to ban the competition's products. It's a different approach, but it has the same objective. Just look at B&N as an example.

You also have to remember Microsoft has never tested any of their patents in court like Apple has. Well until Microsoft vs Motorola that is, and one of its key patents (FAT) has already been invalidated by Linus Torvalds. Let's see how many of the others hold up in court.

What is a "high license fee?" That term is highly subjective, is Motorola asking $4 billion/year from Microsoft a high license fee? Is Microsoft asking $X/device from Android device makers a high license fee (I used $X because there is no real number given, just speculation)?

As for not testing in court - there is a reason for that. If Microsoft goes to a company and lists the patents that they believe have been violated, the other company looks at the patents and know they have no case to challenge it then they are going to pay rather than going to court. A company admitting that they have violated a patent does not imply that Microsoft has done wrong because it has not gone to court. It does imply, however, that Microsoft only goes after companies that they have a strong case against. And to claim that they are wrong because they have not gone to court is claiming that they are guilty because they are innocent.

nohone said,

As for not testing in court - there is a reason for that. If Microsoft goes to a company and lists the patents that they believe have been violated, the other company looks at the patents and know they have no case to challenge it then they are going to pay rather than going to court. A company admitting that they have violated a patent does not imply that Microsoft has done wrong because it has not gone to court. It does imply, however, that Microsoft only goes after companies that they have a strong case against. And to claim that they are wrong because they have not gone to court is claiming that they are guilty because they are innocent.

They pay the fees because it could end up being a lot more expensive to go to trial. Not to mention the fact that few things are certain in the patent world. It depends on who the judge is and their viewpoint on the evidence. I would venture to say that they would take the plaintiffs side most of the time just because the patents are so broad, it probably "technically" fits the patent, but is so general, it would be hard to say your product doesn't break the patent.

farmeunit said,

They pay the fees because it could end up being a lot more expensive to go to trial. Not to mention the fact that few things are certain in the patent world. It depends on who the judge is and their viewpoint on the evidence. I would venture to say that they would take the plaintiffs side most of the time just because the patents are so broad, it probably "technically" fits the patent, but is so general, it would be hard to say your product doesn't break the patent.

Microsoft has been sued a number of times, by very small companies, and many of them have won. Those small companies had no problem finding the money to fight in court, and some of them won, some have lost. So why would large companies spend millions in licensing fees per year, when they could spend much less and win.

But it still stands, just because MS has not gone to court does not mean that they are wrong and shows that they have fault. It is like if someone breaks into your house and steals your TV. You had video cameras set up so you have absolute proof who did it. You could take the person to court, or you could ask for repayment. If they pay and you do not go to court, does that mean that you, the person who's house was broken into, was to blame for it? Just because there have been no court cases does not mean MS is at fault.

Arpit said,

while i understand that apple's just bullying other companies, i'd also say that this is the nature of the patent business. i'm pretty sure if samsung/google/motorola anyone else had come up with the idea and patented it, they would have milked it for all its worth. just look at microsoft's settlements with the android parts manufacturer, or even oracle.

jobs felt "backstabbed" when gates came out with windows and the licensing business model, he just couldn't do anything about it back then. when google did the same with android, he went at it with everything he had.

Apple didn't come up with the IDEA.

Additionally, Apple is stretching the patent to copyright laws to converge, once again. This is where the danger starts.

They are also using 'subtext' of a patent description to claim the 'description' is then part of their legal holding. (For example, they patent a blue rubber ball made from a special rubber, get the patent, and then are suing everyone that makes balls, rubber balls, and especially blue rubber balls. Which IS NOT the intent or the 'awarded' intent of the PATENT.)

Apple has mangled the technology Copyright and Patent laws MORE THAN ANY OTHER COMPANY in history.

Do some research, go back to Apple vs Franklin and the creation of software patent laws, to the 80s when even Apple 'arguments' are not a part of the technology patent and copyright laws. AKA 'look and feel'. Which they tried to distort Copyright law when going after Microsoft, but was upheld in other legal battles with Xerox, even though they lost to Microsoft.

The recent rulings of 'who filed' the patent first counts, even if someone has been making the product for years is the 'destruction' of the 'true' ownership.

The iPhone was NOT the first touch screen phone, it was NOT the first mulit-touch device or PHONE, and Apple had NOTHING to do with the creation of the technologies. (Microsoft has more legal 'rights' although not the petty specific patents. As they were doing multi-touch work for 20 years, and had Touch Screen Phones going back to 2002, long before Apple's iPhone.)

Apple are also trying to sue based on 'look and feel' via patent now instead of copyright.

Arpit said,

while i understand that apple's just bullying other companies, i'd also say that this is the nature of the patent business. i'm pretty sure if samsung/google/motorola anyone else had come up with the idea and patented it, they would have milked it for all its worth. just look at microsoft's settlements with the android parts manufacturer, or even oracle.

jobs felt "backstabbed" when gates came out with windows and the licensing business model, he just couldn't do anything about it back then. when google did the same with android, he went at it with everything he had.


Patents are of the purist of all evils. No single company should be permitted to have one but instead they should share them so all benefits. Apple enjoys being bullies.

Shiranui said,

The US legal system is also partly to blame.


Apple used health problems excuse and they were never questioned about it. Time to hit apple even harder. Go FOSS!!!.