Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ITC judge postpones Microsoft-Barnes&Noble decision by more than a month

There are two ongoing ITC investigations of complaints by Microsoft against Android device maker: one against Motorola, which just got delayed for the third time in as many months, and another, lower-profile one against Nook maker Barnes & Noble.

Now the resolution of the Barnes & Noble case has also been pushed back. The trial took place in early February, and the initial determination of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in charge of this investigation was due on April 27, 2012 -- in two and a half weeks from now. Yesterday, the ALJ decided to push back the remaining deadlines in this case by well over a month. The final ruling, originally scheduled for August 27, 2012, will be due on October 1, 2012, and accordingly, the initial determination will be due on June 1, 2012.

Theoretically, this postponement can be reviewed by the Commission, the six-member decision-making body at the top of the ITC, but in all of the investigations I watch, such decisions were not reviewed.

The ALJ explained that he has evidentiary hearings coming up in two other investigations, and for some time he had hoped that at least one of the two would be settled along the way.

As always, it may be tempting but isn't really possible to read anything into such scheduling decisions with a view to the outcome.

If you'd like to be updated on the smartphone patent disputes and other intellectual property matters I cover, please subscribe to my RSS feed (in the right-hand column) and/or follow me on Twitter @FOSSpatents and Google+.

Share with other professionals via LinkedIn: