Judge Throws Out Apple Patent Lawsuit Against Google

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

In 2011, Apple filed a lawsuit against Motorola Mobility claiming that Motorola was demanding too much in license fees from Apple for patented wireless technology devices including the iPhone and iPod Touch. Then in May 2012, Google bought Motorola, and a bitter legal battle over intellectual property between the two companies has been unraveling ever since.

Just hours before the trial was set to start, a Madison, Wisconsin District Judge threw out the case on the basis that she does not have the legal authority to hear Apple’s claims. Reuters reports that Judge Barbara Crabb wrote in a pre-trial brief that she “questioned whether it was appropriate for a court to undertake the complex task of determining a FRAND [fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory] rate if the end result would be simply a suggestion that could be used later as a bargaining chip between the parties.”

Although Apple previously said it would appeal the case, it can no longer do so in another court as Judge Crabb reportedly dismissed the case “with prejudice.” With prejudice refers to a misconduct or error in the claims of the lawsuit. Judge Crabb’s decision to dismiss with prejudice was based on Apple’s statements to the court that they would only settle for royalty rate of $1 or less per device sold; yet, the foundation of the lawsuit was to set a fair rate on patents. Clearly, the idea that Apple would make such demands of the case did not sit well the district judge. This also means Apple cannot re-file the claims against Google without first appealing Judge Crabb’s decision.

Google is reportedly pleased with the decision, while Apple’s failed attempt to acquire Google’s patents at a reasonable rate leaves the company no choice but to continue paying 2.25% royalties on every device sold, for the time being.

This would not be the first time, or arguably the last, that Google will face patent litigation. Both Apple and Mircrosoft have previously accused Google of overpricing royalties for standard patents, claiming that Motorola agreed to fair terms in their patent arrangements, which they claim Google is now undermining, according to Reuters

This is no doubt not the last we will see of litigious unrest between Google and consumer electronic and digital media companies. As long as technology continues to advance and patents follow, there is sure to be intellectual property law contentions on the docket.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption