Friday, November 8, 2013

Federal Circuit denies Google's Motorola a rehearing: Apple's ITC case to resume shortly

This morning the Mannheim Regional Court ordered a stay of a Motorola Mobility v. Apple FRAND rate-setting case. Apple had requested the stay. Less than ten hours later, Apple scored another win over the Google subsidiary: the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit just denied a motion by Motorola Mobility for a rehearing. Google tried to persuade the appeals court to reconsider a ruling in Apple's favor that had come down on August 7. 2013. As a result, two Apple patents asserted against Android will be at issue in an ITC investigation that is going to resume shortly. The appeals court will issue its mandate in a week from today (November 15, 2013). On remand, Apple will have the opportunity to win a U.S. import ban against Motorola Mobility.

The two patents that Apple revived on appeal are multi-touch patents that have previously been asserted, then withdrawn, but could be reasserted anytime against Samsung:

This is very significant progress for Apple in its patent enforcement efforts against the Google subsidiary and the wider Android ecosystem, at the end of the week before the Apple v. Samsung limited damages retrial in the Northern District of California.

Apple's lead counsel on this appeal was Orrick Herrington Sutcliffe's Joshua Rosenkranz, who will also represent Oracle in less than a month at the Federal Circuit hearing on the Oracle v. Google Android-Java copyright appeal. He also represents Apple against Motorola in two FRAND appeals (the "Posner appeal", which Apple appears to be winning as well, and the "Wisconsin dismissal appeal", which is at an earlier stage).

Motorola filed an ITC complaint against Apple before Apple brought its countercomplaint. Just like Apple's complaint, Motorola's complaint failed at the ITC, but while Apple now gets a second chance, my interpretation of the official recording of an appellate hearing held last month is that Motorola's complaint is probably not going to be revived by the Federal Circuit.

Here's the order denying Google's Motorola a rehearing and announcing the issuance of a mandate to the ITC for November 15:

13-11-08 Order Denying Google's Motorola a Rehearing on Apple's ITC Appeal by Florian Mueller

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