Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has canceled a trial between Apple and Motorola Mobility that was scheduled to begin on June 11. Posner, who usually handles appeals instead of cases that go to trial, said in a tentative order that both cases should be dismissed with prejudice which means they can’t be brought up again because neither party can establish a right to relief.
The judge noted that neither party had enough evidence of damages to withstand dismissal and that granting injunctions based on infringements would impose costs that weren’t proportionate to the harm of the patentee and would be contrary to the public interest.
Apple was seeking declaratory relief as an alternative to injunctive relief but this request was also shot down by Posner. The judge said he didn’t feel that Apple had any right to declaratory relief but if they did, he would be strongly inclined to deny it. He further reserved the right to delay entry of judgment until a full opinion has been prepared and presented within one week.
Apple declined to comment on the order while Google said in a statement that they were pleased by the tentative ruling that dismisses Apple’s patent claims and look forward to a full decision.
Cupertino alleged infringement on four patents. Apple conceded on May 22 that they couldn’t prove damages for two of the patents, leaving two remaining. The company’s admissible evidence of damages with regards to the pair of patents wasn’t enough to convince the judge of infringement.