The only people who will win here- are the lawyers........
Its yet another instance of regardless of who wins or looses- the only people with money in the bank at the end of the day- will be the lawyers............
A federal judge in Texas has allowed Apple a limited retrial [PDF] in its battle with PanOptis, which stung the iPhone maker for $506m in damages over claims it infringed the company's 4G LTE patents. Although Apple was not permitted to relitigate the question of its liability, the retrial will determine how much it's on the …
Well, no - Apple will 'win' if they end up paying less. The others will 'win' if they award stays substantially the same. The amount of the fees paid to the lawyers will be a tiny fraction of the amounts at stake.
The lawyers earn their money by being good at what they do and, like a game of chess, preparing in advance for a lot of contingencies, 90% of which don't happen. I suspect Apple wouldn't pay them if they wanted to use D.Hick & Sons for 50p/hr instead.
Let's get over the 'all lawyers are evil' crap, please.
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Apple should be suing their own lawyers because clearly they are not very good at all...
"Apple, which had been looking for a broader retrial, arguing the jury was not instructed about PanOptis's obligation to license its patents to the company on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis."
Isn't that something the Apple lawyers should have brought up in their defence arguments?
I find this odd looking at it from a UK perspective although admittedly my experience is with criminal courts. The jury is the tribunal of fact. An appeal will consider if the original trial jury was misdirected about the evidence in front of it, including errors about the admissibility of evidence, but won't make further findings of fact unless new evidence has been unearthed since the trial. Evidence of FRAND known to the defence at the time of the original trial wouldn't, on that basis, be considered new. I suppose this arrangement allows the lawyers to milk the system but it seems to be a system ripe for reform.
OTOH if not raising FRAND in the original trial was to Apple's advantage why didn't PanOptis' raise it?
The truth, the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth.
Isn't that something all justice systems rely on? So how come a litigant can hold back some of the truth in anticipation of losing and then appealing to a higher court? Judges in the higher courts really ought to stop pussyfooting around with some of these so-called mis-trials or appeals to higher authority when the so-called new evidence is something they clearly should have presented in the original case.
What we really need is a special patent court that would handle all matters of patent disputes. This would prevent court-shopping and lengthy trials. The patent court would first determine if the patent applies. If that is true, then the court would then determine if a company knowingly violated a patent. The burden of proof would be on the patent owner. A company who used someone else's patent in ignorance would pay less damages. The patent court decision would be final, no appeal. The judges in the patent court all be trained in patent law and the ones on each case would be trained in the field they are presiding over. And both the patent owner and the one accused of breaking the patent can submit a case to the patent court. If, for instance, "Bob's Shell Company" accused Microsoft of breaking a patent, Microsoft could take the issue to the patent court to resolve the matter.
Of course, in my ideal world, the patent court would determine, before anything else, if the patent is even valid. Is there prior art? Is it an obvious solution? Is it so vague that it could be many different things?
The judges in the patent court all be trained in patent law and the ones on each case would be trained in the field they are presiding over.
From what I see, it would seem that the judge involved in the original ruling may have had little or no knowledge of SEPs and FRAND, otherwise he would have asked.
In my profession, I've been involved in a couple of lawsuits where the judges presiding did not have a clue as to what was being disputed, basically not understanding what had really happened.
Nor did they want to take the time to understand, no matter how simple, detailed or just basic common sense the explanation put forth was.
As expected, the lazy bastards ruled accordingly.
We need to overhaul the patent system. It probably wouldn't work but I think a patent should only be awarded with a working prototype. You can't just patent a good idea and wait for someone to trip over it, there needs to be a working prototype. Especially in areas of chip designing where people who are unable to build or design a chip suddenly seem to have a patent on how something works by purely dreaming it up.
"We need to overhaul the patent system."
Agree but first we need the US Patent System to catch up in reality terms with the rest of the world.
Granting patents for almost anything without even a search for prior work or a 'it's bleeding obvious' check is why we are in this mess.
Especially in areas of chip designing where people who are unable to build or design a chip suddenly seem to have a patent on how something works by purely dreaming it up
The LTE patents in question are algorithmic, not a certain type of hardware design, so there is no "chip designing" in question. Even where chip designs are in question (like U of Wisconsin suing people over particular chip design techniques) they are just implementing algorithms in hardware.
You could demonstrate these algorithms with a 6502 if you were willing to wait long enough for the result.
Just make the USPTO responsible for everyone's costs in the event of a patent being invalidated. It might take a few payouts by them before they cottoned on to the need to sort themselves out but it would quickly result in fewer but better patents being granted. By collecting fees without financial risk they're incentivised to choose quantity over quality.
The courts in this district have essentially created a "business" of being extremely litigant-friendly in IP disputes. By encouraging patent trolls to file there, they need more judges, more staff, etc. It's very shady, and anything decided there should be viewed through that lens (and these are federal courts, so don't blame it on Texas - they have no say in the matter).
How is judge Jockstrap ^h^h^h Gilstrap still doing this?
The Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that forum shopping patent cases into his court is against the law.
This guy is a public nightmare, and a patent troll's dream, presiding over something like 1/3 of all patent cases at the peak of his BS.