“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 yesterday. “That is not a proper use of this court.”
The case in Florida alone involves more than 180 claims over 12 patents and includes disputes over the meaning of more than 100 terms. Apple and Google were unable to streamline the case and Scola called 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.” Scola gave the companies four months to narrow the case's scope or he will put the case on hold until all disputes over the definition of patent terms are resolved.