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Judge calls Apple motion to reconsider Motorola ruling 'troubling'

post #1 of 56
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U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner shot down Apple's motion to reconsider a ruling of a Motorola patent case, writing that the document's two main arguments are founded on "flagrant misreadings" of the March 29 order.

Judge Posner's order of denial, issued on Friday, comes after Apple won a number of key patent claims regarding touchscreen heuristics in its case against Motorola, reports The Verge

Although the court's claim construction ruling upheld certain claims of Apple's '949 patent, the Cupertino, Calif., company wasn't satisfied with the order's scope and requested Judge Posner to reconsider his findings.

Specifically, Apple's lawyers claimed that "the Court incorrectly concluded that 'there is no basis in either the claim language or the diagrams and descriptions’ for a finger swipe as a structure corresponding to the ‘next item’ heuristic." The request went on to say "the Court erroneously found that a horizontal finger swipe cannot be both a ‘next item’ heuristic (claim 1) and a ‘horizontal screen scroll’ heuristic (claim 10)."

As for Apple's first claim, Judge Posner stated that the quote was taken from another portion of the order and had no bearing on the iPhone maker's argument. He writes that "Apple perceives disagreement where there is none. There can be no substantive response to this argument of Apple’s, for it argues not against my order but against Apple’s mirage of that order."

Apple's second claim was similarly dismissed as irrelevant because it misinterpreted quotes from the March 29 order.

The denial order concedes that the final passage of Apple's motion containing photo manipulation contentions may hold some merit, though Judge Posner can't take the claim into consideration because it was not advanced during the patent construction briefing.

"By failing to raise this argument in claims construction briefing on the ‘949 patent, Apple has forfeited it," Judge Posner writes.

Near the conclusion of Judge Posner's March 30 order, he writes:
Quote:
Apple presumably spent a nontrivial amount of time drafting its order, and now I have done the same in responding to it. Yet it seems that Apple brought about this expenditure of scarce resources without first making a careful reading of the page or so of my order against which this motion is launched. Such inconsiderate sloppiness is unprofessional and unacceptable.

3 30 12 Posner Order


Overall, Apple's attempt to contest parts of the judge's original order was seen as slipshod. It is unclear why the company's attorneys would seek to oppose the previous order, or how they so blatantly misinterpreted the court's documented findings.


[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 56
Keep at em, Apple.

The longer the Motorola White Elephant is kicking around, the more BS will stand in the way *actual* innovation. Moto is now in patent-pimping mode, having failed in the market.
post #3 of 56
Quote:
Overall, Apple's attempt to contest parts of the judge's original order was seen as slipshod. It is unclear why the company's attorneys would seek to oppose the previous order, or how they so blatantly misinterpreted the court's documented findings.

If Steve were around, he'd say, "You've tarnished Apple's reputation. You should all hate each other for having let each other down..."

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post #4 of 56
Fire the legal team or ask for a change of venue due to a prejudicial judge.

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post #5 of 56
Quote:
Apple presumably spent a nontrivial amount of time drafting its order, and now I have done the same in responding to it. Yet it seems that Apple brought about this expenditure of scarce resources without first making a careful reading of the page or so of my order against which this motion is launched. Such inconsiderate sloppiness is unprofessional and unacceptable.


Inconsiderate sloppiness. Unprofessional. Unacceptable.


Why does Apple think that a judge will put up with these sort of tactics?

the RDF worked for Steve in the context where he was the undisputed boss. Likely it works for the suits when they start waving a checkbook around.

But in a court of law, it is, as Hizzoner said, unacceptable.

Do they take the man for a fool? Do they think he will just throw up his hands and concede to them? Are they nuts?
post #6 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Near the conclusion of Judge Posner's March 30 order, he writes:

Overall, Apple's attempt to contest parts of the judge's original order was seen as slipshod. It is unclear why the company's attorneys would seek to oppose the previous order, or how they so blatantly misinterpreted the court's documented findings.[/URL]

It is possible that Apple's attorneys simply messed up.

OTOH, it is also possible that they did this for strategic reasons. There are several plausible ones, but one of the biggies would be to defuse Motorola's argument on appeal that the judge was biased in favor of Apple and did not adequately consider the relevant matters.

Frankly, I think it's far more likely that Apple had a reason (whatever it was).
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post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Inconsiderate sloppiness. Unprofessional. Unacceptable.


Why does Apple think that a judge will put up with these sort of tactics?

the RDF worked for Steve in the context where he was the undisputed boss. Likely it works for the suits when they start waving a checkbook around.

But in a court of law, it is, as Hizzoner said, unacceptable.

Do they take the man for a fool? Do they think he will just throw up his hands and concede to them? Are they nuts?

Are you?

You obviously don't know what happened other than a third hand version of it. You certainly were not involved in Apple's legal strategy discussions. There may well have been a good reason for what Apple did.

Or maybe they didn't consider the issue important since they won most of the important arguments and did put an inexperienced attorney on it to get him some experience.

One way or the other, given the choice between accepting that Apple's legal team knows what they're doing or accepting that you know better than they do, you lose.
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post #8 of 56
Am I the only one who found this article rather confusing in all respects?

It seems like Apple, the Judge and the writer of this article were all on crazy pills.
post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

It is possible that Apple's attorneys simply messed up.

OTOH, it is also possible that they did this for strategic reasons. There are several plausible ones, but one of the biggies would be to defuse Motorola's argument on appeal that the judge was biased in favor of Apple and did not adequately consider the relevant matters.

Frankly, I think it's far more likely that Apple had a reason (whatever it was).

You really think they were more likely to intentionally be irritating Judge Posner and wasting his time rather than just plain screwing up? They certainly made an impression on him and not a good one according the Judge's answer.
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post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You really think they were more likely to intentionally be irritating Judge Posner and wasting his time ....

You sound like you have a view on who Judge Posner is: care to share?
post #11 of 56
Isn't it possible that the Judge actually misunderstood, he says: "Apple sees disagreement where there is none."
Uh, wouldn't Apple best be able to judge if they were in disagreement? Who is Posner to say that they don't in fact disagree?

God forbid he not understand the technological implications of what Apple is putting forth.
post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You sound like you have a view on who Judge Posner is: care to share?

He's regarded as one of the most brilliant and well-respected jurists in the US. The most cited legal scholar of the century with numerous books to his credit, Florian Mueller refers to him as a "rockstar" in the legal community. He's certainly not your run-of-the-mill Judge according to every article I can find on him.

it wouldn't hurt for you to do a little research on him if you haven't heard of him before.
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post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

He's regarded as one of the most brilliant and well-respected jurists in the US. The most cited legal scholar of the century with numerous books to his credit, Florian Mueller refers to him as a "rockstar" in the legal community. He's certainly not your run-of-the-mill Judge according to every article I can find on him.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with the point I made.

You have no way of knowing if Apple messed up or if they had a reason for filing the motion. Or whether perhaps Posner messed up and didn't understand Apple's filing.

But, of course, that won't stop you from your silly Apple-hating attacks.
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post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You really think they were more likely to intentionally be irritating Judge Posner and wasting his time rather than just plain screwing up? They certainly made an impression on him and not a good one according the Judge's answer.

So?

Obviously, you don't understand the legal process. They've gotten as far as they can with Posner. The decision is made and there's no reason to play nice with him. Since Motorola will undoubtedly appeal, Apple's focus right now is on the appeal, not Posner's decision. If Apple can do something to strengthen their position for the appeal, they lose nothing by irritating Posner.
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post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Which has absolutely nothing to do with the point I made.

You have no way of knowing if Apple messed up or if they had a reason for filing the motion. Or whether perhaps Posner messed up and didn't understand Apple's filing.

But, of course, that won't stop you from your silly Apple-hating attacks.

It was your "likely Apple had a reason" that I was questioning so it has everything to do with the point you made.
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post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

He's regarded as one of the most brilliant and well-respected jurists in the US. The most cited legal scholar of the century with numerous books to his credit, Florian Mueller refers to him as a "rockstar" in the legal community. He's certainly not your run-of-the-mill Judge according to every article I can find on him.

it wouldn't hurt for you to do a little research on him if you haven't heard of him before.

And the preeminent mind in the use of economic analysis in the application of the law. I have read many of his published papers in the course of studying economics.
post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So?

Obviously, you don't understand the legal process. They've gotten as far as they can with Posner. The decision is made and there's no reason to play nice with him. Since Motorola will undoubtedly appeal, Apple's focus right now is on the appeal, not Posner's decision. If Apple can do something to strengthen their position for the appeal, they lose nothing by irritating Posner.

I don't believe you understand the legal process if you think intentionally irritating the judge who will be ruling on the merits of your case and closely examining the rest of your arguments is a proven legal manuever. IMHO it's much more likely to be series of misunderstandings from Apple legal than part of some brilliant intentional plan to try and appear incompetent and wasteful of the court's time.

I think this isn't so much a reflection on Apple itself, but serves more a a reason for Apple's management to take a hard look at their representation in Posner's courtroom to assure this stays an isolated error.
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post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

He's regarded as one of the most brilliant and well-respected jurists in the US. The most cited legal scholar of the century with numerous books to his credit, Florian Mueller refers to him as a "rockstar" in the legal community. He's certainly not your run-of-the-mill Judge according to every article I can find on him.

it wouldn't hurt for you to do a little research on him if you haven't heard of him before.

Oh, I knew that. I've read many of his writings too, in the law and economics arena. You should check those out, if you haven't.

I was making sure that you knew what you were commenting on (which is not the case, often). And, that you know this judge has sided with Apple so far in just about every ruling.

Just wanted to get a quote from you about this guy that I can hold up, when the inevitable happens, i.e., Apple wins.
post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I was making sure that you knew what you were commenting on (which is not the case, often).

I think part of what irritates you is I usually do know what I'm commenting on and prepared to prove it when inevitably questioned.
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post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... It is unclear why the company's attorneys would seek to oppose the previous order, or how they so blatantly misinterpreted the court's documented findings.
...

Talk about slipshod ...

This section is really bad writing/reporting from Apple Insider. You either need an "allegedly" in there, an "according to the judge," or ... you need to actually back up this statement if it's Apple Insider that's asserting it.

Please, please, consider getting a real editor that knows how to write legibly in English to proofread all the stuff you people post on this site.
post #21 of 56
Go sit in on court sessions for corporations, civil suits including divorce court and criminal court.

You'll walk away feeling like a ton of slime was just dumped on you, especially in criminal court.

The verbal sparrings/bashings come from both sides and the judge that presides.

It's not for the thin skinned.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Am I the only one who found this article rather confusing in all respects?

It seems like Apple, the Judge and the writer of this article were all on crazy pills.

Nope. 100% agree.
post #23 of 56
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Sounds like Apple is standing by Jobs's words.

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post #24 of 56
Quote:
Overall, Apple's attempt to contest parts of the judge's original order was seen as slipshod. It is unclear why the company's attorneys would seek to oppose the previous order, or how they so blatantly misinterpreted the court's documented findings.


If I may shed some light for the average reader:

1- The way to object to a Court's decision is through an appeal to a higher Court, not through a Motion to reconsider a decision;

2- A Motion to reconsider is acceptable only to correct obvious errors of fact if these facts matter to Court procedures that will follow;

3- In defence of Apple's attorneys, and their sloppy work, they objected a Court's decision of the previous day and may have lacked time to ponder their own motion. Reacting too promptly invites the sort of sloppiness illustrated by this case where Apple's attorneys rely on their own general impression and mistakenly take arguments from Motorola's lawyers as if they had been accepted by Judge Richard A. Posner, then proceed to quote from the Court's decision on some other argument as a way to prove their own allegations.


The March 29, 2012 and March 30, 2012 decisions of Judge Richard A. Posner are decisions on preliminary motions that were presented by lawyers as they prepare their case for trial on the merit of the case, i.e. ask a judge to decide whether or not a patent has been infringed. But a trial on the merit of the case may be years away. And we may never know whether or not Apple holds a valid patent if the parties settle out of Court, especially with a non-disclosure clause.


\\\
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I think part of what irritates you is I usually do know what I'm commenting on and prepared to prove it when inevitably questioned.

Of course you would think so. What a surprise!
post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

If I may shed some light for the average reader:

1- The way to object to a Court's decision is through an appeal to a higher Court, not through a Motion to reconsider a decision;

2- A Motion to reconsider is acceptable only to correct obvious errors of fact if these facts matter to Court procedures that will follow;

3- In defence of Apple's attorneys, and their sloppy work, they objected a Court's decision of the previous day and may have lacked time to ponder their own motion. Reacting too promptly invites the sort of sloppiness illustrated by this case where Apple's attorneys rely on their own general impression and mistakenly take arguments from Motorola's lawyers as if they had been accepted by Judge Richard A. Posner, then proceed to quote from the Court's decision on some other argument as a way to prove their own allegations.


The March 29, 2012 and March 30, 2012 decisions of Judge Richard A. Posner are decisions on preliminary motions that were presented by lawyers as they prepare their case for trial on the merit of the case, i.e. ask a judge to decide whether or not a patent has been infringed. But a trial on the merit of the case may be years away. And we may never know whether or not Apple holds a valid patent if the parties settle out of Court, especially with a non-disclosure clause.


\\\

Nicely explained. It sounds as tho you have an actual legal background.

EDIT: I see you do! Nice to have a attorney explain it.
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post #27 of 56
The language of the order does seem confusing. While Posner is right that Apple incorrectly quoted him in their motion, presumably by mistake, he appears to be wrong that they do not disagree on the claim in question. He clearly did reject the horizontal finger swipe as a heuristic for "next item" on page 4 of his order:

Quote:
"So I reject the horizontal finger swipe as a potential structure for function [3]."

Function [3] being: "a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items".

The issue that they are asking him to reconsider is that rejection, but he seems to have deflected the request rather than addressed it.

What am I missing here?
post #28 of 56
Sounds like Apple put in the kids sitting on the bench.
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Isn't it possible that the Judge actually misunderstood, he says: "Apple sees disagreement where there is none."
Uh, wouldn't Apple best be able to judge if they were in disagreement? Who is Posner to say that they don't in fact disagree?

I disagree. The judge is likely the one who misunderstands.
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I don't believe you understand the legal process if you think intentionally irritating the judge who will be ruling on the merits of your case and closely examining the rest of your arguments is a proven legal manuever. IMHO it's much more likely to be series of misunderstandings from Apple legal than part of some brilliant intentional plan to try and appear incompetent and wasteful of the court's time.

I think this isn't so much a reflection on Apple itself, but serves more a a reason for Apple's management to take a hard look at their representation in Posner's courtroom to assure this stays an isolated error.

Once again, you're confused. It's a final decision. Posner will no longer be ruling on this matter. While he will have to rule on other matters, the issue of the validity of the patent is settled. Apple loses nothing by pissing him off, but there may be a number of reasons why their actions might make sense. As I said, it could be positioning themselves to make Posner's decision LESS likely to be overturned on appeals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

If I may shed some light for the average reader:

1- The way to object to a Court's decision is through an appeal to a higher Court, not through a Motion to reconsider a decision;

Not true. There are situations where either one is appropriate. In particular, Apple's motion may have been setting the stage to make their position stronger if/when Motorola appeals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

2- A Motion to reconsider is acceptable only to correct obvious errors of fact if these facts matter to Court procedures that will follow;

Not at all. It can also be a strategy to strengthen your case on appeal.
For example:
http://definitions.uslegal.com/m/motion-to-reconsider/
"It is often a prelude to an appeal of a court decision"
It is VERY common to use a motion to reconsider to set things up the way you want for an appeal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

3- In defence of Apple's attorneys, and their sloppy work, they objected a Court's decision of the previous day and may have lacked time to ponder their own motion. Reacting too promptly invites the sort of sloppiness illustrated by this case where Apple's attorneys rely on their own general impression and mistakenly take arguments from Motorola's lawyers as if they had been accepted by Judge Richard A. Posner, then proceed to quote from the Court's decision on some other argument as a way to prove their own allegations.

Maybe they acted precipitously and maybe they had a plan. No one knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

The March 29, 2012 and March 30, 2012 decisions of Judge Richard A. Posner are decisions on preliminary motions that were presented by lawyers as they prepare their case for trial on the merit of the case, i.e. ask a judge to decide whether or not a patent has been infringed. But a trial on the merit of the case may be years away. And we may never know whether or not Apple holds a valid patent if the parties settle out of Court, especially with a non-disclosure clause.


\\\

True. However, from Apple's perspective, Posner's decision was a HUGE win and his comments today do not materially change that. The patent has been held to be valid and infringed. That makes Apple's position infinitely stronger in negotiation.

And the fact that their strategy may have been to weaken Motorola's chances on appeal makes it worthwhile to take the risk of looking bad in front of the trial judge - since, as you say, it's unlikely to ever end up in front of Posner for the rest of the case.
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post #31 of 56
Great news, I hope more judges follow suit and that all of these bogus claims will just disappear, enough is enough,
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post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

I disagree. The judge is likely the one who misunderstands.

A judge, you, a judge you, who do you think understands less.
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post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Great news, I hope more judges follow suit and that all of these bogus claims will just disappear, enough is enough,

Which bogus claims are you referring to? The judge ruled that the patent is valid and infringed.
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post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

He's regarded as one of the most brilliant and well-respected jurists in the US. The most cited legal scholar of the century with numerous books to his credit, Florian Mueller refers to him as a "rockstar" in the legal community. He's certainly not your run-of-the-mill Judge according to every article I can find on him.

I'm assuming he's also human, has the ability to be wrong, the ability to realise it, and the ability to change his mind?

Or is he too brilliant for all that rubbish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I think part of what irritates you is I usually do know what I'm commenting on and prepared to prove it when inevitably questioned.



Yes, we're very proud of you here. Now if only we could train you to be a little more objective.

Hell, then we might even decide to keep you!
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post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Which bogus claims are you referring to? The judge ruled that the patent is valid and infringed.

Motorola's claims but it doesn't really matter nothing is going to come of it. Who really cares about some locking mechanism that Motorola has already replaced. What devices does Apple think they'll get taken off of the market, something that has already been discontinued. The only people who wins here is the lawyers.
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post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Hell, then we might even decide to keep you!

Yep that's what we need more people agreeing with you. I kid, I kid
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post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Which bogus claims are you referring to? The judge ruled that the patent is valid and infringed.

No sir, no sir and no sir. The case has not been tried, so no infringement has been proved and the patent has not been ruled valid. I can only assume you've confused proof of patent validity with the arguments made and accepted in claims construction.

If your statement that the patent has been ruled valid and infringed were true then the only thing remaining would be establishing the damages. That's clearly not what this is about at this stage.
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post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Yes, we're very proud of you here. Now if only we could train you to be a little more objective.

Hell, then we might even decide to keep you!

Thank you for the encouraging comments. I'll work harder at recognizing if I'm not being objective too..
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post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Which bogus claims are you referring to? The judge ruled that the patent is valid and infringed.

It has not yet gone to trial. This legal stuff is not your strongest area.

You've had considerable trouble understanding the Proview situation, despite repeated explanations.
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Nicely explained. It sounds as tho you have an actual legal background.

EDIT: I see you do! Nice to have a attorney explain it.

I'm assuming he is French speaking judging by his grammar.
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