A US judge has decided that a jury which found against the fruity Cargo Cult Apple did not know what it was thinking when it decided that found Jobs’ Mob guilty of stealing another man’s work.
Mirror Worlds founder professor David Gelernter was awarded $625.5 million by the jury which found that Apple had stolen his ideas for a document management and display system.
However Judge Leonard Davis of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler, Texas, disagreed with the jury and claimed it must have been defeated by the smoke and mirrors of Gelernter’s legal team.
We guess that any scenerio which does not cast Steve Jobs as a genius who has a hundred brilliant ideas before breakfast did not sit well with Davis.
Mirror Worlds said that computers powered by the Mac OS X operating system of infringing on patents held by the company founded by Gelernter, who is a Yale University professor.
The jury found that Apple had infringed three patents and awarded $208.5 million in damages for each patent.
The problems were Apple’s Cover Flow, which lets users flip through album covers and other content as if through a stack of cards, Time Machine, which performs automatic backups; and Spotlight, which is software for searching computer hard drives.
Apple had only asked asked the US District Court to wait to enforce the jury award. It wanted to have a look at some of the problems that needed to be addressed. Apple was particularly unhappy at the way the damages had been worked out. IT would have resulted in one of the largest payouts in US history.
It seems though that Apple did not have to worry about that. Judge Davis, in a 44-page ruling this week, scrapped the whole thing, thus making the jury trail a complete waste of time.
The Judge insisted that there was not enough evidence to support the jury’s $208.5 million damages award.
He said that no matter how attractive a party paints the façade of its case, it is “worthless without the requisite foundational support”.
Apple should not be opening the champers yet. Setting aside a jury verdict is a little tricky to do, otherwise it would render the whole system pointless. You can expect this case to run and run.