Judge Throws Out Apple Patent Lawsuit Against Google
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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021
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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.