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Old 06-21-12, 12:30 PM   #1
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Post Apple, Motorola should just play nice and pay royalties, suggests judge

Apple's quest for an injunction against Motorola for alleged patent infringement could have "catastrophic" results, according to a federal judge. The comments came up during a Wednesday afternoon hearing in Chicago, where Judge Richard Posner listened to arguments from Apple as to why an injunction is necessary to prevent Motorola from infringing on Apple's mobile device patents (and vice versa). No decision was made at the hearing, but Judge Posner's comments show that he would rather force the companies to play nice and pay royalties instead of taking their patent war to the next level.

Earlier this month, Posner canceled the jury trial that was scheduled to take place in the pending infringement lawsuit between Apple and Motorola. The two companies had already pruned their lists down to what they considered to be the most essential patents that the other had violated'Apple's list ended up with four, while Motorola's had one. However, Posner rejected the claim that either company should receive damages. Posner ultimately left the door open as to whether there should be injunctive relief, which was the purpose of Wednesday's hearing.

According to Reuters, Posner described the US patent system as "chaos" (and the man's not wrong). He further said restricting the sale of Motorola phones would have "catastrophic effects" on both the mobile device market and consumers. But Apple's attorney, Matthew Powers, argued the company doesn't want to bar the sale of Motorola's devices. Instead, Motorola could simply remove the technology that Apple claims to have patented from its handsets. Posner didn't quite buy it'he suggested it could be better if Motorola simply pays Apple a compulsory royalty.

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