How Apple v. Motorola could alter patent litigation

Judge Posner's decision increases importance of damage assessments

It’s a high-profile lawsuit between two industry giants. Apple Inc. and Motorola Inc. (now owned by Google Inc.) are accusing each other of patent infringement. At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, as well as court orders forbidding future smartphone sales in a market worth billions of dollars. So, of course, top legal talent represented both sides.

Yet somehow, both sides managed to lose.

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Posner’s ruling is part of a recent trend. Federal Circuit rulings such as Lucent Tech. Inc. v. Gateway Inc. (2009), Inc. v. Lansa Inc. (2010) and Uniloc USA Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. (2011) have required patentees to prove their infringement damages with increasing rigor.


Steven Seidenberg

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