Apple gets a second crack at Motorola

A US judge has agreed to hear Apple’s request for an injunction against the sale of some Motorola phones.

Judge Richard Posner cancelled a trial between Motorola Mobility and Apple saying that neither could prove damages.

However, according to Reuters, Posner has decided to let attorneys plead their case on an injunction before he sets the decision in concrete.

The move gives Apple a chance to slap an injunction on Motorola.

Motorola sued Apple in October 2010, a move that was widely seen as a preemptive strike against an imminent Apple lawsuit. Apple countersued.

In the pretrial Posner killed off nearly all of Motorola’s patent claims against Apple. He left in more of Apple’s claims against Motorola. It meant that Apple had a lot more to win if the trial went ahead.

Apple had sought an injunction barring the sale of Motorola products, but when the trial was cancelled, Posner said an injunction would be “contrary to the public interest”.

It seems that Posner is making sure that his decisions are not overturned on appeal. By giving Apple a chance to argue its case, it makes it harder for Apple to appeal any ruling.

Posner set the injunction hearing for 20 June in Chicago. Motorola may also ask for an injunction on the one patent in the case that it can still assert against Apple.