Apple persuaded a federal decide to throw out a $308.5 million (roughly Rs. 2,298 crores) jury verdict it misplaced to a privately-held licensing agency for infringing a patent related to digital rights administration.
In a Thursday evening resolution, US District Decide Rodney Gilstrap mentioned Personalised Media Communications LLC (PMC) deliberately delayed submitting its utility with the US Patent and Trademark Workplace, hoping to acquire a bigger payout.
“This court docket takes very significantly the prospect of disturbing the unanimous verdict of a duly empaneled jury,” however PMC’s “deliberate technique of delay” was a “aware and egregious misuse of the statutory patent system,” Gilstrap wrote.
PMC, based mostly in Sugar Land, Texas, claimed in its 2015 lawsuit that the FairPlay software program utilized in Apple’s iTunes service and App Retailer to decrypt motion pictures, music and apps infringed its patent obtained in 2012.
However the decide, who sits in Marshall, Texas, accepted Apple’s protection of “prosecution laches,” which might block a patent holder from imposing a patent after an unreasonable and unexplained delay. Gilstrap mentioned PMC’s delay lasted a few years.
Jurors had discovered Cupertino, California-based Apple liable to PMC on March 19, after a one-week trial.
“PMC respectfully disagrees with Decide Gilstrap’s ruling and plans to enchantment,” its lawyer Douglas Kline of Goodwin Procter mentioned in an e mail.
Apple didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
PMC’s patent utility dated to functions filed within the 1980s.
Gilstrap mentioned PMC employed a so-called “submarine” patent technique, submitting serial functions after which conserving its patent portfolio “hidden” till trade extensively adopted the underlying know-how.
He mentioned PMC would demand licensing charges or allege infringement solely after it believed infringement was widespread.
He cited an inner PMC doc from 1991 figuring out Apple, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Microsoft as “pure candidates” for its technique.
A June 1 resolution by the federal appeals court docket dealing with patent instances made it simpler to problem submarine patents.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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