Harriet, Check the Books and See if I Can Dismiss This on the Grounds of Asshattery
U.S. District Judge James Robart has just about had it with Microsoft, Motorola and their pitched patent battle. Remarking on the dispute Monday after suffering through three hours of oral arguments, Robart laid into both companies for blurring the line between business negotiation and litigation.
“The court is well aware that it is being played as a pawn in a global industry-wide business negotiation,” Robart lamented after reserving judgment on the motions of Microsoft and Motorola for a later date. “The conduct of both Motorola and Microsoft has been driven by an attempt to secure commercial advantage, and to an outsider looking in, it has been arbitrary, it has been arrogant and frankly it appears to be based on hubris.”
Which, if you’ve been following these cases, is a reasonably accurate assessment. Using litigation to squeeze exorbitant licensing fees out of a rival for intellectual property is becoming par for the course in negotiations like those between Microsoft and Motorola, and as Robart points out, not only is that a drag, it’s often a waste of everyone else’s time.