Apple ordered to pay AU$700 million for patent violations

Apple ordered to pay AU$700 million for patent violations

Apple was ordered by a jury to pay PanOptis $700million for infringing on the patents owned by the latter company on 4G LTE technology.

Patent fights have long been part and parcel of innovation. Apple knows this as it has been sued multiple times for allegedly infringing on patents owned by other companies. They have won some, but they have also lost some. One thing for sure is that they never back down from these legal battles.

Apple ordered to pay $700million

The Eastern District of Texas jury ordered the Cupertino-based company to pay PanOptis north of $700million for violating the latter’s patent rights. The technology invented by the latter revolves around the 4G LTE capability on wireless devices.

PanOptis alleged that the Macbook-maker was in bad faith when it didn’t take a license from them to use the technology. However, Apple still proceeded to apply the same on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

The amount awarded to PanOptis is a mix of damage and royalties calculated from the past sales of the company. Apple’s representative responded by saying,

“We thank the jury for their time but are disappointed with the verdict and plan to appeal. Lawsuits like this by companies who accumulate patents simply to harass the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumerms.”

Statements like these are not new for the company. Most of the time, they point out that lawsuits like these are opportunistic ways to earn easy cash. Nevertheless, the appeal could clear the air between PanOptis and Apple.

One thing notable about the case is that it is the first case decided on by the court after it suspended hearings due to COVID-19. Apple tried to stall it for health concerns, but the judge ensured that the court took all safety measures needed.

Koss countersued

While the PanOptis case has just been resolved, Apple is again going on the offensive in another case. Koss insists that Apple and other wireless earphone makers have been taking advantage of their patented technology. It doubly asserts that it has to be awarded in damages and royalties from their tech.

However, Apple doesn’t buy the idea and posits that the case is baseless. In addition, Apple is countersuing Koss for violating a confidentiality agreement. This deal was allegedly requested by Koss when Apple itself didn’t see the need for it. Be that as it may, it is now one of the issues that will be discussed later on.

Image from Daniel Romero/ Unsplash

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