Judge sets hearing date in Apple-Motorola patent case

A week after tentatively dismissing a jury trial in the patent lawsuit between Apple and Motorola, a US federal judge has agreed to grant Apple an injunction hearing against Motorola.

In his decision last week, Judge Richard Posner reserved the right to change his mind, emphasising the decision as tentative. It appears he has claimed that right. The judge has issued a court order granting Apple its requested injunction hearing, now scheduled for 20 June.

"Each party may argue that it would be entitled to injunctive relief as to its patent or patents were the other party found to have infringed," the judge wrote in the one-page ruling. "The parties should be prepared to address the possibility of substitution for an injunction of an equitable decree for a reasonable royalty going forward."

The decision also accommodates Motorola's lawsuit, granting the company the right to request an injunction related to a 3G communications patent, on the condition that it addresses the implications of FRAND terms. Motorola, purchased by Google in a $12.5 billion (£8 billion) deal in May, has claimed Apple's mobile devices infringe on one of its cellular communications patents.

Apple has accused Motorola of infringing on four of its patents in its Droid phones and Xoom tablets.