Judge: Apple & Google Using Litigation As A Business Strategy


U.S. District Judge Robert Scola believes Apple and Google-owned Motorola are more interested in using litigation as a business strategy than they are in resolving patent disputes. Both companies accused each other of infringing patents related to wireless technologies back in 2010, and today the case is still on going.

“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,” said Judge Scola in an order dated yesterday. “That is not a proper use of this court.”

The case involves more than 180 claims related to 12 patents and disputes over the meaning of more than 100 terms, Bloomberg reports. Neither Apple or Motorola have been able to streamline the case, and they are now asking the court to hold a hearing in an effort to reduce the size and complexity of the case.

Judge Scola called the actions of two companies “obstreperous and cantankerous conduct,” and refused their request.

“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,” he wrote. “The court declines this invitation.”

Apple and Motorola now have four months to streamline the case between themselves, and if they don’t, Judge Scola says he’ll put the case on hold until he resolves all of the disputes over the definition of patent terms. Neither Apple or Motorola would provide any comment.

Judge Scola isn’t the first to complain about the battle between Apple and Google. Bloomberg reports that a federal judge in Wisconsin last year threw out breach-of-contract claims brought against Motorola by Apple when the two failed to agree terms.