U.S. District Judge in Florida says Apple Inc. and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit are more interested in using litigation as a business strategy than in resolving disputes over the use of patented technology.
“The parties have no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute; they instead are using this and similar litigation worldwide as a business strategy that appears to have no end,” U.S. District Judge Robert Scola in Miami said in an order dated yesterday. “That is not a proper use of this court.”
The smartphone makers are accusing each other of infringing patents related to wireless technology, and have been growing the lawsuit load with additional patents since 2010.
The Florida case involves more than 180 claims relating to 12 patents and disputes over the meaning of over 100 terms stated Scola in his order. Apple and Google were unable to streamline the case, he said, calling the companies’ actions “obstreperous and cantankerous conduct.”
“Without a hint of irony, the parties now ask the court to mop up a mess they made by holding a hearing to reduce the size and complexity of the case,” he wrote. “The court declines this invitation.”
Giving them four months to narrow down the case’s scope, the judge said if they don’t he will put the case on hold until he resolves all of the disputes over the definition of the patent terms.
Spokespersons for both Google and Apple declined to comment.