The world of business like any other human sector is faced by various challenges. The issue of conflicts in the execution of business operations has been a common scenario. In regards to the growth and development of globalization as well as liberalization of markets, the management of business operations has turned out to be a technical issue. This is so because business organizations can in the present operate in wider and foreign markets thus affecting other businesses in their domestic markets. Growth in technology has also raised many challenges, whereby each business organization has been fighting for its survival. In relation to technological innovations, patents are offered to protect a business or the innovator from undue competition. This has however been difficult to manage following the liberal nature of the global markets. A good example of a business law suit has been demonstrated by Motorola against Apple. This conflict is based on the infringement of patent rights reserved for Motorola in Delaware. Following the violation, Motorola had no option other than engage Apple into a legal confrontation in order to fight for its rights. In light with the law suit which was conducted in Delaware, the chief judge of District of Delaware Reproached Apple for disingenuous argument.
The lawsuit of Motorola against apple was based on the infringement of apple on Motorola’s patents in Delaware. There was a great misunderstanding and mistrust between apple and Motorola concerning the patents Motorola held. In this case, Apple assumed that the patents held by Motorola were not valid and thus resolved to sue it. This was the beginning of the conflict and Motorola was put on alert to fight for its rights. The declaratory judgment filed in Delaware was a cause of agony for Motorola which thought that its destiny was being jeopardized. This was related to 12 patents which Apple had previously asserted as invalid. Based on business law, there is no avenue for such a scenario to happen. Motorola was in this case induced to act fiercely to fight for its rights and hinder apple for interfering with its patents rights. Apple was planning to sue Motorola for declaratory judgment concerning the validity of the patents thus initiating a law suit between the two companies (Bagley and Savage, 2009).
Based on the nature of the situation which Motorola was being forced to by Apple, there was every justification for a fight back. Its patents rights were being infringed by Apple and this raised a lot of agony. Motorola was seeking to assert the patents so as to ensure their validity. Failure to do so, would have led to their loss thus costing the company even more. The assertion of the patent rights by Motorola was to be undertaken in consideration with the products named in the declaratory judgment. Apple was very dedicated to ensure that Motorola lost its patent rights. In its reaction, Motorola sought to move in court to stop this infringement. It is also worrying to note that Apple had brought a motion to transfer or dismiss the venue. This was very unfortunate for Motorola because it would have otherwise jeopardized its commitment or success in the law suit. Motorola was in this case fierce in opposing Apple’s motion to transfer the venue of the law suit. This was induced by the fact that Apple by itself had asserted many of such patents against Nokia and HTC (Griseri and Seppala, 2010).
In relation to the lawsuit between Motorola and Apple, the management of each company had a great role to play in preventing the situation. The concepts of risk management should have been adequately adopted by the management in preventing such a situation from happening. In the case of Motorola, there was every need for the management to be conscious of all risks potential of affecting the company. Motorola is at the risk of being sued by other companies like Apple which may have vested interests on its performance. The Company was at risk of losing its patents and the management is at this case liable for protecting the company. Another key legal risk is the issue of compensation, whereby the company would be forced to cough out some amount in compensation for its opponents (Bagley and Savage, 2009).
The management should have in this case put its legal team standby in evaluating any legal risks which might affect the company. The management should have adequately analyzed all scenarios which might have attracted legal confrontations. By being careful on such situations, the management should have taken legal actions against Apple in time. Motorola should not have waited for Apple to continue infringing its patents. On the other hand, the management of Motorola could also have initiated a friendly negotiation with Apple. This could have amicably solved the situation without moving to court (Bagley and Savage, 2009).
In the case of Apple, the management had a vital role to play in regards to preventing the situation which faced the company. Instead of taking Motorola to court concerning the validity of the patents, the management should have constituted a legal team to investigate the matter. The management should not have relied on mere allegations in opening a lawsuit but should have rather sought to carefully investigate the patents. In realization of any abnormalities concerning the validity of the patents, the management should also have thought of engaging Motorola in a diplomatic negotiation. This would have helped in settling the conflict without initiating a lawsuit which is in this case costly for the company (Griseri and Seppala, 2010).
The lawsuit between Apple and Motorola has demonstrated a high sense of ethical issues. Based on the nature of the case, Apple did not adhere to ethical issues which are required of it. It is notable that Apple did not respect the patent rights accorded to Motorola and went on to infringe them. This is unethical and stands to be condemned. On the other hand, Apple’s decision to raise a motion to change the venue of the lawsuit was unethical in the sense that it was after enhancing its chances of winning the case at the sense of Motorola. On the other hand, Apple’s disregard on the court decision to assert Motorola’s patents is a sense unethical practice. This case has stood to teach the tow parties and many more on the need to adhere to ethical considerations (Bevans, 2006).
There are many sources of law as regards to business organizations. In relation to the case of Apple and Motorola, corporate and international business law comes into action. Corporate defines a number of issues concerning business to business relationships. This is very applicable in Apple and Motorola’s lawsuit since the corporate relationship between the two was infringed. On the other hand, international business law also comes into to explain this case. In this case, international business law defines the issues of market encroachment and respect to rights offered to various organizations. With this in mind, the management should mobilize adequate information concerning these sources of business law so as to avoid such situations in the future (Jones, 2006).
The management of Motorola and Apple among other corporations has many alternative solutions at hand. Court process is not the only solution to corporate conflicts. Organizations should at every time seek to solve their issues in an amicable manner (Kraakman et al, 2009). It is worth noting that the organization should ensure dissemination of knowledge and information concerning business law to all its members. This should be accompanied by adequate training and development of all persons within the organization concerning issues that may lead to a legal confrontation with other companies. In the event of a conflict, the management should seek to adopt diplomatic negotiations with its opponents. This is a viable solution that ensures that organizations attain lasting and acceptable solutions without adopting a court process (Kraakman et al, 2009).
In summation, the discussion and analysis of the lawsuit concerning Apple and Motorola contains numerous insights to the corporate world. The lawsuit demonstrates some of the various conflicts facing corporate organizations. In this particular case, the issue of patent rights has been the main aspect of concern. It is worrying noting that Apple failed to respect the rights of Motorola thus initiating the law suit. This is unethical and ought to be condemned. The management of a business organization is obligated to ensure appropriate corporate relations and look for more amicable solutions to their conflicts. For instance, friendly negotiations should be initiated in the event of a conflict between two organizations thus avoiding the chances of a court process.
Bagley, C. and Savage, D. (2009). Managers and the Legal Environment: Strategies for the 21st Century. New York: South-Western College.
Bevans, N. (2006). Business Organization and Corporate Law. New York: Routldge.
Griseri, P. and Seppala, N. (2010). Business Ethics. London: Wiley & Sons Press.
Jones, D. (2006). The Business Corporation Law: Together with the Stock Corporation Law…and other Laws Concerning Business Corporations Business Corporations in the State of New York. New York: McGraw Hill.
Kraakman, R. et al. (2009). The Anatomy of Corporate Law. London: Wiley & Sons Press.