We here at Appsplit applaud Judge Richard A. Posner. You don’t know who he is? Well, we’ll tell you.
On June 7, the judge “dismissed with prejudice” a case heard at the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois between Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility and Apple Inc. What this means is that the case as it is cannot be refilled or appealed. It’s like the judge saying “Stop this. You’re wasting the court’s time. You’re trying to abuse the legal system.”
This is coming from a judge who is held in very high regard by the law community. As GigaOm puts it, “Richard Posner is a legend in legal and academic circles and possesses a resume that makes the typical Supreme Court Justice look like a slouch.” He usually sits on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals but he heard this case being tried at the aforementioned lower court which points to him having a hand in getting the case in his hands. He may have grown tired, as most of us may have, of the overly zealous tech companies with their patents infringement cases.
In his decision, the judge wrote: “I have tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief.”
Posner, in earlier rulings about the Google/Motorola versus Apple case, used plain language to pounce on what appeared to be arguments that exceeded their limits, GigaOm says. Here are some examples of his rulings:
“[re a slide-to-unlock patent] Apple’s argument is that ‘a tap is a zero-length swipe.’ That’s silly. It’s like saying that a point is a zero-length line.”
“Motorola’s contention that the term has a ‘plain and ordinary meaning’ is ridiculous; Motorola seems to have forgotten that this is a jury trial.”
Furthermore, in a blog post he wrote, the legendary judge also criticized the U.S. Patent System as “dysfunctional”. He said:
“The institutional structure of the United States is under stress. We might be in dangerous economic straits if the dollar were not the principal international reserve currency and the eurozone in deep fiscal trouble. We have a huge public debt, dangerously neglected infrastructure, a greatly overextended system of criminal punishment, a seeming inability to come to grips with grave environmental problems such as global warming, a very costly but inadequate educational system, unsound immigration policies, an embarrassing obesity epidemic, an excessively costly health care system, a possible rise in structural unemployment, fiscal crises in state and local governments, a screwed-up tax system, a dysfunctional patent system, and growing economic inequality that may soon create serious social tensions. Our capitalist system needs a lot of work to achieve proper capitalist goals.”
That has been the clearest statement so far that someone in the U.S. legal system – someone who is of high esteem, no less – thinks that the patent system needs reworking. How long has this argument been voiced by experts and laymen alike? Thank you judge Posner. Thank you.
With this decision and the precedent it sets for other U.S. courts, we hope that tech companies lay low on the lobbying of complaints against each other and get back to what they really should be concentrating on: creating great pieces of technology we as users would love to buy.
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