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Apple scorned by renowned federal judge in case against Motorola

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Federal judge Richard A. Posner has issues a rather harsh order in response to Apple's motion challenging parts of the court's recent claim construction order in Apple and Motorola's ongoing legal battle.

Judge Posner
Judge Posner

Renowned federal judge Richard A. Posner issued an order in Apple's US patent case against Motorola that would make any litigator cringe and duck for cover. In responding to Apple's motion challenging portions of the court's recent March 29 claim construction order, Judge Posner laid into Apple's counsel right out of the gate, characterizing the motion as "troubling." It only got worse for Apple from there. After summarily dismissing Apple's arguments, the judge explained exactly what it was about Apple's motion that had set him off:

Apple presumably spent a nontrivial amount of time drafting its order, and now I have done the same in responding to it. Yet it seems that Apple brought about this expenditure of scarce resources without first making a careful reading of the page or so of my order against which this motion is launched. Such inconsiderate sloppiness is unprofessional and unacceptable.

You never want to hear something like that from a judge, let alone a judge of his reputation. Patent litigation is hard enough without alienating the only individual in the courtroom who can make or break your case. What's even more peculiar is that Judge Posner's claim construction was generally favorable to Apple. It's unclear what could have been so problematic that Apple thought it was a good idea to attack the judge's reasoning. Regardless, it's likely a few attorneys in and around Cupertino are wishing they could get a take-back on this one.