Judge Warns Apple to Stop Frivolous Filings

The Judge overseeing the patent infringement lawsuits between Apple and Motorola has had enough of what he called frivolous filings from Apple, and he went so far as to warn the iPad and Mac maker to knock it off.

In response to a motion Apple filed to block the deposition of one of its expert witnesses, Judge Richard A. Posner replied,

I deny the second half of Apple’s motion (seeking prohibition of the deposition) as frivolous and the first half (seeking substitution) as untimely. I’ve had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple. The next such motion, and I shall forbid it to file any motions without first moving for leave to file.

Part of what may have set off the judge, according to Foss Patents, was that Apple had been denied a similar motion only days earlier. Florian Mueller of Foss Patents thinks Apple’s tactic, which would’ve essentially blocked Motorola from responding to the motion didn’t please the Judge, either.

Judge Posner warns Apple to stop frivolous filingsJudge Posner warns Apple to stop frivolous filings

“It’s not just that the judge believes this is a pretext. He also doesn’t like that Apple made a second attempt only three days after the judge denied a similar motion that didn’t cite health issues, and he blames Apple for turning this into an “emergency” motion (the deposition is scheduled for this coming Friday, May 4, 2012) instead of bringing the motion at a time and in a way that would have enabled Motorola to respond,” Mr. Mueller said. “It appears that Apple wanted to deprive Motorola of this opportunity.”

Apple and Motorola have been locked in a legal battle over allegations that both parties are using each other’s mobile-related patents without proper licensing.

Assuming Apple doesn’t take Judge Posner’s warning to heart, the company faces being required to request permission before filing any motions — a stipulation that Motorola wouldn’t be bound to. If so, Apple’s legal team would find itself at a disadvantage because it couldn’t respond as quickly as Motorola to court proceedings.

Odds are that Apple won’t have to deal with asking permission before filing motions because the company’s legal team most likely knows where the line is now and won’t step across. The company did, however, manage to upset the Judge overseeing its case and will now have to tread lightly to avoid drawing his anger again.