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Judge dismisses Apple's FRAND-related lawsuit against Motorola

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
A federal judge on Monday tossed Apple's suit against Motorola, which claimed the Google-owned company was participating in unfair licensing practices regarding declared standards-essential patents, effectively canceling a trial that was over a year and a half in the making.

On the day that an Apple v. Motorola Mobility trial was set to start, Wisconsin District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning Apple must go through an appeals process to reassert the claims.

694
Minutes from the dismissal of Wisconsin's Apple v. Motorola FRAND trial.
Source: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin


As noted by FOSS Patent's Florian Mueller, the decision comes after Motorola brought a "motion for guidance" last Tuesday, requesting Apple sign a licensing deal on court-determined terms. Apple subsequently said it would agree to any court terms that put the license at $1 or less per iPhone sold.

Interestingly, Mueller said that Judge Crabb became uncertain about the need for a FRAND trial that was already prepared for by both the court and the two parties. Further cementing the jurist's skepticism was Motorola's argument that, based on Apple's reasoning, the company could later refuse to pay Apple royalties for essential patents.

In response, Apple outlined two separate scenarios in which Motorola would be either bound by the precedent established as an outcome of the trial, or the Cupertino company would build an evidentiary record in the coming months and hold a trial to set the rate for patent cross-licensing.

Judge Crabb was apparently not persuaded by Apple's solution, and chose to toss the trial. Mueller believes the judge was solution oriented and could have helped decide a fair outcome to the FRAND rate-setting trial.

"As long as she considered Apple to be genuinely interested in a solution, as opposed to protracted litigation, she was definitely willing to help put an end to Motorola's wireless SEP assertions against Apple," Mueller wrote. "But when she started to doubt Apple's intentions, the case fell apart."

It is likely that an appeal will follow, though Motorola may face an antitrust lawsuit in the intervening days or weeks, possibly confusing matters for the Wisconsin suit's timeline.
post #2 of 71

Short short short short. :D

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post #3 of 71

The minutes are in Myriad Pro. 

 

Funny,

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post #4 of 71
She didn't have to be so crabby about it...
post #5 of 71
What does this mean?
post #6 of 71

This is quite bizarre. Why would a judge act like this?

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post #7 of 71
Wisconsin. Why?

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post #8 of 71
This is fucking ridiculous...

 

 


Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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post #9 of 71

Strange. The reasoning seems to be that the judge felt Apple's conditional offer of up to $1/device demonstrated they were not serious and were instead interested in dragging it out. Seems to me that the offer was very reasonable. What was Apple supposed to offer? Moto was asking for insane royalties, so why wasn't action taken against them?

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post #10 of 71

In addition to jettisoning Forstall and Browett, Cook should quickly remove Bruce Sewell and get a more diplomatic legal chief and dispense with the arrogance and foolish behavior that has resulted in stalemates, losses, and a very poor / embarrassing pubic image.  They did get the major jury victory against Samsung but that was despite themselves.  Down the road, they are almost certainly in for some serious spankings unless they replace Mr. Sewell and take a more measured and professional approach without the foolish and surly behavior.

post #11 of 71
So, what the **** was the reason this was cancelled? Cause the judge was having a shitty day? WTF? This is a very legitimate case. Or is the judge just trying to follow in the ridiculous footsteps of the UK judge?
post #12 of 71
This will be appealed, and the judge will probably be shown as being completely out of her depth.
post #13 of 71

Whatever happened, look to The Verge or elsewhere for a more thorough legal analysis.

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post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eluard View Post

This is quite bizarre. Why would a judge act like this?

Because the judge is a wanker?

There is a clear disagreement and a need for judicial resolution. Apple proposed one solution, but the judge is not bound by that. All Apple said was that they'd agree to pay up to $1, but if it's more than that they would appeal.

So what? It's up to the judge to decide how much is appropriate - and if Apple wants to appeal, they're free to do so whether they warn the judge about it before hand or not.

The judge is saying that he's so uncertain of his decision making ability that he's afraid to subject his decision to judicial appeal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This will be appealed, and the judge will probably be shown as being completely out of her depth.

Undoubtedly. The judge has no legitimate grounds for dismissing the case.
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post #15 of 71

Just like Posner, she decided to punt.

post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Undoubtedly. The judge has no legitimate grounds for dismissing the case.

Thanks for the clarification Your Hon...oh wait. 

 

 

 

Quote:
I think Apple missed an opportunity to make important headway against Motorola Mobility. I don't know Judge Crabb and I didn't attend any of the hearings, but I read her orders and I really thought she was very solution-oriented. In fact, I thought she would have been a great judge to preside over a FRAND rate-setting trial -- a judge that I think an implementer of FRAND standards could really have trusted to arrive at a fair decision. -FOSS

Oops.

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post #17 of 71
There goes Sisvel's plans for a "0.99€ per device" LTE patent pool.

Who will contribute patents now Google's greed has destroyed this model?
Edited by hill60 - 11/5/12 at 11:47pm
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post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

In addition to jettisoning Forstall and Browett, Cook should quickly remove Bruce Sewell and get a more diplomatic legal chief and dispense with the arrogance and foolish behavior that has resulted in stalemates, losses, and a very poor / embarrassing pubic image.  They did get the major jury victory against Samsung but that was despite themselves.  Down the road, they are almost certainly in for some serious spankings unless they replace Mr. Sewell and take a more measured and professional approach without the foolish and surly behavior.

Embarrassing pubic images are my specialty, I'll have you know.

post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eluard View Post

This is quite bizarre. Why would a judge act like this?

 

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012110322254380

 

From the judge's order:

 

...Apple states that it will not commit to be bound by any FRAND rate determined by the court and will not agree to accept any license from Motorola unless the court sets a rate of $1 or less for each Apple phone....

 

In other words, if Apple is unsatisfied with the rate chosen by the court, it “reserves the right to refuse and proceed to further infringement litigation.” ... Despite its position, Apple maintains that it is entitled to specific performance in the form of the court determining what a FRAND rate is for Motorola’s patents. At the final pretrial conference, I asked Apple to explain why it believed the court should determine a FRAND rate even though the rate may not resolve the parties’ licensing or infringement disputes. I questioned whether it was appropriate for a court to undertake the complex task of determining a FRAND rate if the end result would be simply a suggestion that could be used later as a bargaining chip between the parties. Apple responded that the rate would resolve the dispute in this particular case, namely, whether Motorola’s license offer was FRAND and if not, what the rate should have been.

 

Apple’s response was not satisfactory and did not assuage my concerns about determining a FRAND rate that may be used solely as a negotiating tool between the parties. After further consideration, I believe it would be inappropriate to grant Apple’s clarified request for specific performance.

 

 

As I explained at the final pretrial conference, courts are not in the best position to determine a FRAND rate for a portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents that would be used later in licensing negotiations between two highly sophisticated parties. Both parties in this case employ licensing experts whose job it is to negotiate these types of licenses and who are in a much better position than the court to determine a FRAND rate. Apple’s request that the court determine the FRAND rate places an enormous and possibly unjustifiable burden on the judiciary’s resources. In light of this reality, it would not be in the public interest for the court to spend such enormous resources to determine a FRAND rate that may ultimately lead only to additional litigation and would set a troubling precedent for future cases involving FRAND commitments.

 

 

 

Apple basically said that they no desire to commit to the court's rate if it isn't what they want. So the judge said, hey, then why waste the court's time? FU Apple. 


Edited by tooltalk - 11/5/12 at 8:53pm
post #20 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


The judge is saying that he's so uncertain of his decision making ability that he's afraid to subject his decision to judicial appeal.

 Barbara is a he?

post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012110322254380

 

From the judge's order:

 

...Apple states that it will not commit to be bound by any FRAND rate determined by the court and will not agree to accept any license from Motorola unless the court sets a rate of $1 or less for each Apple phone....

 

In other words, if Apple is unsatisfied with the rate chosen by the court, it “reserves the right to refuse and proceed to further infringement litigation.” ... Despite its position, Apple maintains that it is entitled to specific performance in the form of the court determining what a FRAND rate is for Motorola’s patents. At the final pretrial conference, I asked Apple to explain why it believed the court should determine a FRAND rate even though the rate may not resolve the parties’ licensing or infringement disputes. I questioned whether it was appropriate for a court to undertake the complex task of determining a FRAND rate if the end result would be simply a suggestion that could be used later as a bargaining chip between the parties. Apple responded that the rate would resolve the dispute in this particular case, namely, whether Motorola’s license offer was FRAND and if not, what the rate should have been.

 

Apple’s response was not satisfactory and did not assuage my concerns about determining a FRAND rate that may be used solely as a negotiating tool between the parties. After further consideration, I believe it would be inappropriate to grant Apple’s clarified request for specific performance.

 

 

As I explained at the final pretrial conference, courts are not in the best position to determine a FRAND rate for a portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents that would be used later in licensing negotiations between two highly sophisticated parties. Both parties in this case employ licensing experts whose job it is to negotiate these types of licenses and who are in a much better position than the court to determine a FRAND rate. Apple’s request that the court determine the FRAND rate places an enormous and possibly unjustifiable burden on the judiciary’s resources. In light of this reality, it would not be in the public interest for the court to spend such enormous resources to determine a FRAND rate that may ultimately lead only to additional litigation and would set a troubling precedent for future cases involving FRAND commitments.

 

 

 

Apple basically said that they no desire to commit to the court's rate if it isn't what they want. So the judge said, hey, then why waste the court's time? FU Apple. 

 

This! 

post #22 of 71

Is $1.00 per device not the reasonable FRAND rate that Apple's competitors are being charged? Why would Apple agree to allow a judge to charge them whatever she felt like. That would be insane. Apple is required to pay no more than their competitors and that was the message Apple conveyed. Good on them for doing so.

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post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post

She didn't have to be so crabby about it...

 

That's what comes of constantly taking sideways steps  ;~)

post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eluard View Post

Is $1.00 per device not the reasonable FRAND rate that Apple's competitors are being charged? Why would Apple agree to allow a judge to charge them whatever she felt like. That would be insane. Apple is required to pay no more than their competitors and that was the message Apple conveyed. Good on them for doing so.


I understand that Apple did not have anything to offer Moto to cross licence (correct if I am wrong). If that is the case, Apple should not expect the same rate their competitors, like HTC, Samsung or Nokia, were paying. Apple is being unreasonable here.
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post


I understand that Apple did not have anything to offer Moto to cross licence (correct if I am wrong). If that is the case, Apple should not expect the same rate their competitors, like HTC, Samsung or Nokia, were paying. Apple is being unreasonable here.

 

So are Motorola using any of Apple's LTE patents?

 

Then there are Apple's H.264 patents licensed by MPEG-LA.

 

Samsung and Google's disregard for existing licences with chip makers and complete mockery of the standards process are the only things that are unreasonable.

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post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

So are Motorola using any of Apple's LTE patents?

 

Then there are Apple's H.264 patents licensed by MPEG-LA.

 

Samsung and Google's disregard for existing licences with chip makers and complete mockery of the standards process are the only things that are unreasonable.

 

"A federal judge on Monday tossed Apple's suit against Motorola, which claimed the Google-owned company was participating in unfair licensing practices regarding declared standards-essential patents"

 

Look! did Apple own any of those patents back in March 2011?  

post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

So are Motorola using any of Apple's LTE patents?

 

Then there are Apple's H.264 patents licensed by MPEG-LA.

 

Samsung and Google's disregard for existing licences with chip makers and complete mockery of the standards process are the only things that are unreasonable.

 

Most of Apple's LTE patents are from Nortel - and I'm pretty sure all the existing licensing agreements between Moto & Nortel are still binding. 

 

If I understand correctly, Apple has only ONE SEP H.264 patent in the pool - most H.264 SEP patents are held by Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, LG, Motorola (6+%), and other real tech companies.  I don't hear Apple whining about the H.264 royalty rates, so I'm guessing Samsung & Moto are being more than generous here. 

 

It's Apple who initiated the lawsuit against Moto and asked the court to set a FRAND rate.  Also note, Samsung had never demanded Apple to license their communication patents until Apple went berserk with their thermonuclear war.  


Edited by tooltalk - 11/6/12 at 12:47am
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eluard View Post

Is $1.00 per device not the reasonable FRAND rate that Apple's competitors are being charged? Why would Apple agree to allow a judge to charge them whatever she felt like. That would be insane. Apple is required to pay no more than their competitors and that was the message Apple conveyed. Good on them for doing so.

 

 

Can you then explain why Apple asked the court to set a FRAND rate in the first place?   Yes, precisely, that's why judge Crabb tossed the lawsuit. 

 

Apple is required to pay what everyone else pays?  why?  because you said so?  ROLF!!

post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012110322254380

 

From the judge's order:

 

...Apple states that it will not commit to be bound by any FRAND rate determined by the court and will not agree to accept any license from Motorola unless the court sets a rate of $1 or less for each Apple phone....

 

In other words, if Apple is unsatisfied with the rate chosen by the court, it “reserves the right to refuse and proceed to further infringement litigation.” ... Despite its position, Apple maintains that it is entitled to specific performance in the form of the court determining what a FRAND rate is for Motorola’s patents. At the final pretrial conference, I asked Apple to explain why it believed the court should determine a FRAND rate even though the rate may not resolve the parties’ licensing or infringement disputes. I questioned whether it was appropriate for a court to undertake the complex task of determining a FRAND rate if the end result would be simply a suggestion that could be used later as a bargaining chip between the parties. Apple responded that the rate would resolve the dispute in this particular case, namely, whether Motorola’s license offer was FRAND and if not, what the rate should have been.

 

Apple’s response was not satisfactory and did not assuage my concerns about determining a FRAND rate that may be used solely as a negotiating tool between the parties. After further consideration, I believe it would be inappropriate to grant Apple’s clarified request for specific performance.

 

 

As I explained at the final pretrial conference, courts are not in the best position to determine a FRAND rate for a portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents that would be used later in licensing negotiations between two highly sophisticated parties. Both parties in this case employ licensing experts whose job it is to negotiate these types of licenses and who are in a much better position than the court to determine a FRAND rate. Apple’s request that the court determine the FRAND rate places an enormous and possibly unjustifiable burden on the judiciary’s resources. In light of this reality, it would not be in the public interest for the court to spend such enormous resources to determine a FRAND rate that may ultimately lead only to additional litigation and would set a troubling precedent for future cases involving FRAND commitments.

 

 

 

Apple basically said that they no desire to commit to the court's rate if it isn't what they want. So the judge said, hey, then why waste the court's time? FU Apple. 

 

Wow. The old "detonate a bomb in your own underpants" legal strategy. Haven't seen that used in while.

 

1rolleyes.gif

post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post

 

"A federal judge on Monday tossed Apple's suit against Motorola, which claimed the Google-owned company was participating in unfair licensing practices regarding declared standards-essential patents"

 

Look! did Apple own any of those patents back in March 2011?  

 

Did Apple pay license fees to Infineon and Qualcomm regarding these Motorola patents?

 

I guess we'll just have to wait for the appeal, oh yeah and the upcoming case in California where the patent exhaustion issues are to be addressed.

 

In other words, nothing much will happen before 2014.

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post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

It's Apple who initiated the lawsuit against Moto and asked the court to set a FRAND rate.  Also note, Samsung had never demanded Apple to license their communication patents until Apple went berserk with their thermonuclear war.  

 

Wrong.

 

Motorola initiated legal action against Apple, actions that Google has shown a keen interest in continuing despite the total disregard for upholding the standards setting process.

 

Google's use of Nortel's patents can be cancelled at any time, well if Apple stooped as low as Motorola showed themselves to be, by reneging on their license agreements with Infineon and Qualcomm.

 

Fortunately Apple has more respect for standards.

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post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

 

Can you then explain why Apple asked the court to set a FRAND rate in the first place?   Yes, precisely, that's why judge Crabb tossed the lawsuit. 

 

Apple is required to pay what everyone else pays?  why?  because you said so?  ROLF!!

 

No because the license agreements Motorola had in place with Infineon and Qualcomm said so.

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post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Wrong.

 

Motorola initiated legal action against Apple, actions that Google has shown a keen interest in continuing despite the total disregard for upholding the standards setting process.

 

Google's use of Nortel's patents can be cancelled at any time, well if Apple stooped as low as Motorola showed themselves to be, by reneging on their license agreements with Infineon and Qualcomm.

 

Fortunately Apple has more respect for standards.

 

There are several lawsuits going on between Moto (Google) & Apple. Do you understand the difference between the plaintiff and the defendant?

 

 

Case No. 11-CV-178-bbc
Hon. Barbara B. Crabb
 

APPLE INC.,

Plaintiff,
          v.
MOTOROLA MOBILITY, INC.
Defendant.
 
(hint: it's' almost always the plaintiffs who initiate lawsuits).
 
ROFL!!  Of course, that must be why Apple is gaming the US patent system.   Duh! Apple'd better have respect for standards - after all, Apple is a very successful marketing / product design company, but it has little or no technology of its own (I wasn't kidding about Apple contributing ONE measly patent in the H.264 pool).  Apple's survival very much depends on copying and tweaking its competitors' technology. 

Edited by tooltalk - 11/6/12 at 2:17am
post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

No because the license agreements Motorola had in place with Infineon and Qualcomm said so.

 

No,  Infineon or Qualcomm can't dictate how much Motorola charges its own customers. 

post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

No,  Infineon or Qualcomm can't dictate how much Motorola charges its own customers. 

 

The license fee was paid, it formed part of the cost Apple paid in buying the chips that use Motorola's patents.

 

That is called patent exhaustion, which is the subject of another case in California, Motorola's breach of contract.

 

Then there is the upcoming appeal based on Posner's ruling.

 

Also there are a number of antitrust cases pending, looking into the abuse of standards essential patents to restrict competition.

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post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

 

 

 

 

Apple is required to pay what everyone else pays?  why?  because you said so?  ROLF!!

 

Because it's FRAND — and non-discriminatory means just what it says. 

 

Oh yeah ROFL…Because when trolls appear here, that is what their arguments always amount to.

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post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

The license fee was paid, it formed part of the cost Apple paid in buying the chips that use Motorola's patents.

 

That is called patent exhaustion, which is the subject of another case in California, Motorola's breach of contract.

 

Then there is the upcoming appeal based on Posner's ruling.

 

Also there are a number of antitrust cases pending, looking into the abuse of standards essential patents to restrict competition.

 

 

In this lawsuit, Apple's argument is not based on "patent exhaustion."  Apple is not denying Moto's rights to collect patent royalties.  What Apple is asking the court to do is to set a low licensing rate for Moto's FRAND patents. 

 

I understand that Moto is being investigated by the FTC for possible anti-trust violation, but that's a completely different matter.


Edited by tooltalk - 11/6/12 at 2:43am
post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eluard View Post

 

Because it's FRAND — and non-discriminatory means just what it says. 

 

Oh yeah ROFL…Because when trolls appear here, that is what their arguments always amount to.

 

Non-discriminatory means Moto can't discriminate who can access their patents - and must be open to all willing to negotiate/pay.  It says nothing about the rate at which Moto licenses their FRAND patents.  Further, "fair" and "reasonable" don't mean that all customers enjoy the same low royalty rate. 

post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Wrong.

 

Motorola initiated legal action against Apple, actions that Google has shown a keen interest in continuing despite the total disregard for upholding the standards setting process.

Right. Apple initiated this suit.

 

It was cancelled after Motorola agreed to a court stipulation that they would be bound by whatever rate the judge determined to be appropriate, but Apple would not. They of course took a different tack, telling the court it would not accept it's determination if it was for more than $1 per device. In effect, to hell with you if it's not in our favor, we ain't taking a license. Judge Crabb saw no sense in having the trial if Apple's intent really wasn't to settle the license issues once and for all, which it plainly wasn't in the judges view. 

 

As your personally favored patent blogger put it Hill60:

"It (Apple) needs to address Judge Crabb's concerns at the legal level, but it also needs to avoid coming across as an arrogant litigant who is just trying to use the court system to its advantage, respecting only those decisions it totally agrees with."

http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/11/next-weeks-apple-google-frand-trial-may.html

 

Also this case would not have included hearing the patent exhaustion issue you mentioned with regard to Apple devices that use Qualcomm chipsets.  Patent exhaustion will be addressed in a different Apple lawsuit set for late next year, potentially removing current Apple models like the 4S and iPhone5 from royalty claims. Older models would still have fallen under whatever royalty rate the court would have set.

 

Apple had a golden opportunity to take care of this in a fair, impartial and legally binding setting that Motorola had no choice but to accept even if the royalty was a penny a unit. Wasn't good enough for Apple. They only have themselves to blame for the dismissal.


Edited by Gatorguy - 11/6/12 at 3:53am
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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Right. Apple initiated this suit.

 

It was cancelled after Motorola agreed to a court stipulation that they would be bound by whatever rate the judge determined to be appropriate. Apple of course took a different tack, telling the court it would not accept it's determination if it was for more than $1 per device. In effect, to hell with you if it's not in our favor, we ain't taking a license. Judge Crabb saw no sense in having the trial if Apple's intent really wasn't to settle the license issues once and for all, which it plainly wasn't in the judges view. 

 

As your personally favored patent blogger put it Hill60:

"It (Apple) needs to address Judge Crabb's concerns at the legal level, but it also needs to avoid coming across as an arrogant litigant who is just trying to use the court system to its advantage, respecting only those decisions it totally agrees with."

http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/11/next-weeks-apple-google-frand-trial-may.html

 

This was a defensive move on Apple's part seeing as ho Motorola sued them first.

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AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Judge dismisses Apple's FRAND-related lawsuit against Motorola