The latest volley in the ongoing legal conflict between Apple and Motorola is set to see a jury trial in just a little over a week, where an Illinois courtroom will be the next setting in the showdown over patents between the two companies. As their respective legal teams prepare for trial, the presiding judge has been ruling on motions they’ve filed, and has made it patently clear (no pun intended) that Apple needs to stick to the facts of the case and not try to to turn the jury’s decision into one of which company it likes more.
Judge Richard Posner recently gave the order, “I forbid Apple to insinuate to the jury that this case is a popularity contest and jurors should be predisposed to render a verdict for Apple if they like Apple products or the Apple company or admire Steve Jobs, or if they dislike Motorola or Google.”
The fact that the judge made such a statement at all suggests that he thought such a strategy would be likely for Apple to employ. There’s some additional evidence along those lines, with the judge also instructing the company not to refer to a certain patent as “the Jobs patent”, presumably in the interest of playing on the jury’s positive feelings about the late Apple chairman.
Talking about smartphones as much as we do inevitably leads to discussions of biases and playing favorites, but it’s not often we see these undercurrents addressed in such a high-stakes situation as this.
Source: FOSS Patents