A U.S. judge yesterday threw aside a much-anticipated trial between Apple (s aapl) and Google-owned Motorola Mobility (s goog) over smartphone patents. The decision and a blog comment by the same judge could prove to be a watershed moment for a U.S. patent system that has spiraled out of control.
In his remarkable ruling, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner stated that there was no point in holding a trial because it was apparent that neither side could show they had been harmed by the other’s patent infringement. He said he was inclined to dismiss the case with prejudice — meaning the parties can’t come back to fight over the same patents — and that he would enter a more formal opinion confirming this next week.
The order is extraordinary not only for what it said but for who wrote it. For the unfamiliar, Richard Posner is a legend in legal and academic…
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