Apple had filed suit against Motorola Mobility it what they believed was a blatant copy of the iPhone. Just recently Judge Richard Posner ended the case with extreme prejudice meaning that neither company can re-file the but they can appeal.
Motorola was happy with the result of the suit and had the following to say:
“Apple is complaining that Motorola’s phones as a whole ripped off the iPhone as a whole,” Judge Posner wrote in the 38-page ruling as he ended the case.
“But Motorola’s desire to sell products that compete with the iPhone is a separate harm – and a perfectly legal one – from any harm caused by patent infringement.”
The judge added that Apple had not clearly shown that its phones had “suffered loss of market share, brand recognition, or customer goodwill as a result of Motorola’s alleged infringement of the patent claims still in play in this case.”
It is very likely that the case will be appealed in Federal Circuit court. It appears that Apple did not do their research as a result of the decision made by the judge. In February Apple had won a patent dispute against Motorola Mobility regarding the slide to unlock feature on the iPhone. It is likely in the future that these kinds of disputes between companies may be harder to win based on this judgement.