Google and its Android partners may have a big, big headache on its hands, plus a new boogie man to boot in the form of United States Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner , and the reason is quite simple, because as AppleInsider noted the judge:
"......has issued an interpretation of Apple's '263 patent that is likely to result in a jury finding HTC (and Android in general) of infringement in the key "realtime API" case previously passed over by the ITC.
The '263 patent is very significant because it represents technology at the core of Android, rather than being a physical design or user interface feature that companies using Android can easily work around or remove."
Originally, a judge from the ITC ruled in favor of Apple's 263 patent, but later a panel from the same ITC over ruled his decision, and now Richard A. Posner has basically over ruled that over ruling, siding with the original judge's interpretation!
In other words:
Android and its supporter's are basically 'screwed' from a legal point-of-view!
And as, German patent expert, Florian Mueller wrote:
"While patent appeals go to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), Judge Posner is technically a peer of the CAFC judges who will rule on Apple's appeal against the ITC and HTC. He's primarily known for his work on legal economics, not for patent law, but he's a living legend of U.S. law and his understanding of the '263 patent will clearly bear more psychological weight with the CAFC than the final ITC ruling (or the position of the ITC's Office of Unfair Import Investigations). Apple convinced an ALJ at the ITC and convinced a legendary, high-ranking judge. If the CAFC also agrees to interpret the '263 patent in a technically logical way, Android may face a major problem."
Ouch! Now that's gotta hurt!
Even worse, as AppleInsider also pointed out:
"Mueller notes that "a jury is very likely to find Android to infringe the patent based on that construction but much less likely to deem the patent invalid." He previously noted that Andy Rubin's involvement could also give Apple grounds for claiming willful infringement."
Make that a double ouch!
In conclusion, I may not be a patent expert like Herr Mueller, or a lawyer, or let alone a judge, but I can read and what I'm reading certainly looks more-and-more like a real hornet's nest of legal trouble for Android and its partners, and even though I wouldn't necessarily count Android out quite yet, I wouldn't necessarily bet against Apple or its founder's, Steve Jobs, desire to kill it off either.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this cloudy, but mild Monday, January 30, 2012
Opening chart via AppleInsider