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06.23.2009 Blog

Apple Moves for Judgment on the Pleadings


We previously posted about the suit filed in Alexandria by Monec Holding AG, a Swiss wireless communications company, against Apple Inc., for patent infringement.  Monec v. Apple  Notably, Apple stated its counterclaim for noninfringement in great detail, asserting that the iPhone® does not satisfy the limitation of a “display” that “has dimensions such that one page of a book can be displayed at normal size.”  Simply put, the claims do not cover a device as small as the iPhone.  Apple even went so far as to discuss the prosecution history and statements made by the applicant about prior art cited by the PTO.  Now, despite the fact that discovery does not close until October 9, Apple has moved for “judgment on the pleadings or summary judgment, or in the alternative, to transfer” to the Northern District of California. Apple Motion.pdf  Importantly, Local Rule 56(C) provides that each side only gets one motion for summary judgment, without leave of Court.  To the extent that the Court construes Apple's motion as one for summary judgment, it may not get another chance. 


The basis for Apple’s motion is, as it set forth in its counterclaim for noninfringement, that the 2 inch x 3 inch iPhone lacks a “display ha[ving] dimensions such that one page of a book can be displayed at a normal size,” which Apple contends is present in every claim of the ’678 patent.  In the alternative, Apple moves to transfer the case to the Northern District of California, where its Cupertino headquarters are located, because as a Swiss corporation, Monec has no ties to Virginia, and because all the convenience factors of 1404(a), including the location of parties, witnesses, and documents, weigh in favor of California.  A hearing is set on Apple’s motion for July 17, 2009.