Tech

Jury orders Apple to pay $300 million in patent infringement case

In context: Marshal Texas is not a major city in the Lone Star State unless you are a patent troll. In the small town, about three hours east of Dallas, Juries tend to rule against big corporations, making it popular for companies looking to take on Big Tech.

Last week a US District Court judge in Marshall, Texas, ordered Apple to pay $300 million in damages to Optis Wireless for patent infringement. The company claimed that Apple uses technology in its iPhone’s 4G/LTE setup that violated its registered intellectual property.

Other companies previously owned all five patents. Panasonic owned two, LG had two, and Samsung developed the last one. Optis acquired them between 2014 and 2017 and almost immediately began filing various lawsuits over them.

Last year, a jury awarded Optis and its partners $506.2 million in the case, but District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap reversed the award and ordered a new hearing to decide damages. Judge Gilstrap agreed with Apple that the jury did not reach a reasonable award amount according to FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) licensing.

The retrial concluded on Friday. The Register notes the jury awarded Optis $300 million, or about two days revenue for the Cupertino powerhouse—a 40-percent reduction. However, Apple plans to appeal the decision, pointing out that Optis is nothing more than a patent troll and produces nothing other than revenue from lawsuits.

“Optis makes no products, and its sole business is to sue companies using patents they accumulate,” an Apple spokesperson told Reuters in a statement. “We will continue to defend against their attempts to extract unreasonable payments for patents they acquire.”

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