Apple Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., No. 11C 8540, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 16, 2012) (Posner, J. sitting by designation).

In light of the upcoming trial of this case – in stages beginning with liability on June 11, 2012 – and the interest because of both the high profile parties and the fact that Seventh Circuit Judge Posner is presiding over the case, I am going to go out of order and profile a significant number of opinions from this case during June.

Judge Posner granted in part and deferred portions of plaintiffs (collectively “Apple”) and defendants (collectively “Motorola) motions for summary judgment in this patent dispute involving various cell phone technologies.  Here are key rulings:

  • Motorola granted summary judgment of noninfringement re RE 39,486 and U.S. Patent Number 5,929,852.  The ‘486 and ‘852 patents taught network components.  Apple did not show that Motorola’s Android Runtime layer allowed for replacement of meaningful components.  It was not enough that Apple’s expert had replaced components on his phone because he provided no reason that a typical user, or any user, might do so.
  • Motorola denied summary judgment of noninfringement re U.S. Patent Number 5,519,867.  The ‘867 patent taught an apparatus for allowing incompatible applications and operating systems to communicate.  A clash of experts over whether Motorola’s two-step system involving a virtual machine read on the claims created a question of material fact precluding summary judgment.
  • Motorola denied summary judgment of noninfringement re U.S. Patent Number 6,493,002.  The ‘002 patent taught aspects of toolbar buttons within an operating system or application.  Motorola’s status window could not infringe the ‘002 patent, but there was a question of fact as to whether its notification window infringed.
  • The Court construed the terms of Apples U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263.  The ‘263 patent taught real time processing of serial data.  The Court held that “Realtime application program interface (API)” need not have a different construction than “application program interface (API).”  And the Court construed “realtime application program interface” to mean an “API that allows realtime interaction between two or more subsystems.”

Having ruled on multiple summary judgment motions, the Court noted that the following patents were still asserted:

  • Apple patents:  ‘002, ‘263, ‘337, ‘354, ‘647, ‘867 & ‘949
  • Motorola patents:  ‘516, ‘559 & ‘898.