Friday, April 12, 2013

Apple and Motorola Admonished to Reduce Size and Complexity of Case Without Court Intervention

The court denied a joint motion by Apple and Motorola for a case management conference, but granted their request to extend Markman deadlines. "Both Apple and Motorola greatly expanded the scope of this patent litigation by, among other things, supplementing patent infringement and invalidity contentions. The litigation now includes over 180 claims asserted from the 12 patents, and the parties dispute the meaning of over 100 terms from those claims. . . . Although the parties agree that the case needs to be simplified . . . the parties unsurprisingly have been unable to agree on how to accomplish this goal. Without a hint of irony, the parties now ask the Court to mop up a mess they made by holding a hearing to reduce the size and complexity of the case. The Court declines this invitation. . . . [T]he parties’ obstreperous and cantankerous conduct — combined with the existence of similar cases by the same parties or their affiliates throughout the world — makes it plain that the parties have no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute; they instead are using this and similar litigation worldwide as a business strategy that appears to have no end. That is not a proper use of this Court. Perhaps because the parties correctly suspected that the Court would balk at their request to clean up their mess, the parties also suggest delaying the Markman process until they can narrow the case themselves. Since that puts the onus where it belongs, that is what the Court will do."

Motorola Mobility LLC v. Apple Inc., 1-12-cv-20271 (FLSD April 10, 2013, Order) (Scola, Jr., J.).

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