Apple, Inc. v. Motorola, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright
  • Date Filed: 06-22-2012
  • Case #: 1:11-cv-08540
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Posner
  • Full Text Opinion

When plaintiff claiming patent infringement fails to establish any basis for an award of relief, the defendant is entitled to a judgment dismissing the case.

In the final episode of an ongoing case between Apple, Inc. (Apple) and Motorola, Inc. (Motorola), after alleging dueling patent infringements, both parties’ motions for summary judgments against each other for damages and injunctions were denied. Alleging damages requires a reasonably certain monetary estimate, one that neither party adequately supported at hearing. The court found that a reasonably certain estimate was feasible, especially in the form of a running (ongoing) royalty license using FRAND (friendly, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory) terms. Therefore, because damages were feasible and because neither party showed damages to be inadequate, each side’s injunctions were also denied. Both parties also sought declaratory relief of invalidity and noninfringement of each other’s patents. Motorola conceded its claim because declaratory relief is only available where monetary or injunctive relief is also available, yet Apple persisted. The court ruled that even if declaratory judgment could be granted (which it could not) that this relief is discretionary and the court sees no practical effect in issuing such a judgment. The court DISMISSED the case WITH PREJUDICE, because Apple failed to establish any basis for an award of relief.

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