Injunction Hearing Set in Apple-Motorola Mobility Case

Apple Inc. won a court order scheduling an injunction hearing in a patent lawsuit against Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Motorola Mobility unit after a federal judge canceled a trial set for June 11.

U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner scheduled the June 20 hearing, at which each side will be given the opportunity to argue for an order barring the other from infringing. Posner’s order, dated yesterday, was posted today on the court’s electronic docket.

“The parties should be prepared to address the possibility of substitution for an injunction of an equitable decree for a reasonable royalty going forward,” Posner said in the one-page ruling.

At a pretrial conference last week, the judge told lawyers for the mobile-phone makers he was rejecting their respective expert witness reports on damages and scrapping the trial then set to start in four days.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, manufactures iPhone- brand mobile phones. Motorola Mobility, the Libertyville, Illinois-based business acquired by Google last month for $12.5 billion, makes phones that use Google’s Android operating system.

Apple claims some Motorola Mobility products including its Droid-branded phones and Xoom tablet computers infringe four of its patents, while the Google unit contends Apple infringes one of its cellular communications patents.

Final Judgment

“I have tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief,” Posner said June 7 in a written order. He also rejected Apple’s request for a hearing at which he would consider only injunctive relief, adding he would delay entering final judgment until he writes a lengthier decision.

“I may change my mind,” Posner said then.

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment on Posner’s order. Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, didn’t reply to a voice-mail message seeking comment.

The case is Apple Inc. (AAPL) v. Motorola Inc., 11-cv-8540, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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