Judge: Should Tech Industry Even Have Patents?

Judge: Should Tech Industry Even Have Patents?

U.S. judge Richard Posner, who dismissed Apple’s patent court case against Motorola, was interviewed by Reuters, and the details behind the jurist’s reasons for throwing the the lawsuit out are, to say the least, interesting.


Richard Posner sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and disputes whether software and related tech industries should even have patents for their products.

“It’s not clear that we really need patents in most industries,” said Posner, referring to the slew of features in smartphones that are legally protected. “You just have this proliferation of patents. It’s a problem.”

Posner believes that that the pharmaceutical industry deserves protection for its intellectual property because of the “enormous investment it takes to create a successful drug.”

Posner threw Apple’s lawsuit against Google’s Motorola Mobility out of court last month, and denied an injunction against the sale of Motorola devices using Apple’s patented technology.

The judge said Apple’s legal attacks against competitors allegedly using its technology was because of its “constant struggle for survival.”

“As in any jungle, the animals will use all the means at their disposal, all their teeth and claws that are permitted by the ecosystem,” Posner was quoted as saying.

Posner did restrain Motorola from seeking an injunction against the iPhone in his ruling, because the manufacturer previously promised to license its patent on fair and reasonable terms to competitors.

Posner added he was “looking forward to presiding” over the Apple vs. Motorola case, but said there was no other choice than to throw the litigation out.

“I didn’t think I could have a trial just for fun.”