Thursday, May 31, 2012

Patent Trial is not a "Popularity Contest"— Positive Publicity Unrelated to Elements in Suit are Excluded from Evidence

The court granted in part the parties' motions in limine to preclude publicity which praises a party or its products. "Apple will not be permitted to present media articles or equivalent publicity praising features of the iPhone or iPad (or the Apple company, Steve Jobs, or Apple products in general) unless they mention (or can be shown to be referring to) claim elements that Apple alleges Motorola infringes or that Motorola argues were anticipated or obvious and that are actually in dispute. If the articles or other publicity do not praise an element in suit, they are irrelevant to any legal issue in the case, and can only confuse the jury. . . . More broadly, I forbid Apple to insinuate to the jury that this case is a popularity contest and that jurors should be predisposed to render a verdict for Apple if they like Apple products or the Apple company or admire Steve Jobs, or if they dislike Motorola or Google. The overall quality of the products involved in the litigation is irrelevant to the legal issues. This prohibition applies mutatis mutandis to Motorola . . ."

Apple, Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., et. al., 1-11-cv-08540 (ILND May 25, 2012, Order) (Posner, C.J.).

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