A month ago, a United States Circuit Judge, Richard Posner had outrightly dismissed a patent case pertaining to iOS and Android that was being fought out between Apple and Google, the respective developers. Both the companies had filed appeals again on July 20th after the jury trial was canceled in the continuous legal battles between the two giants. Judge Posner had said that neither of the two was able to prove damages in the infringement suit and canceled trial for the same reason. He went on to say that neither company was going to be allowed to re-file claims pertaining to that particular case.
Apple and Google have been at loggerheads for several months now and the cases are being fought in several countries in various courts. It appears as though Apple initiated the legal battle with founder Steve Jobs himself saying that he was “willing to go to thermonuclear war” against Google and alleged that Android was a stolen product. Apple has been fighting not just Google but even the manufacturers who use the Android OS.
While the two companies see Judge Posner’s judgment as just a brief intermission in their legal battles, analysts have something else to say about the issue. The judge said that the patent system leads to waste of public funds in terms of filing costs and in order to settle disputes. This has led to widespread belief that there is the possibility of an overhaul in the patent system.
Meanwhile, it appears that Google is trying to take advantage of the established order in terms of device popularity and has said that technology that is popular with customers should be considered the de facto standard in its arena. It went on to add that such technology must be treated in a manner similar to frand (acronym for fair, responsible and non discriminatory) patents and the actual developer should be given the credit and rights for it. The other side of the argument is that, such frand patents are going to work only if the patent holders are willing to allow their use at reasonable licensing fees. Judge Posner appeared not convinced by Google’s frand patent logic and Apple said that when non standard patents are subject to standard patent rules, innovation will be hampered.