Apple persuaded a federal choose 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 night time resolution, US District Choose Rodney Gilstrap stated Customized 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 severely 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 choose, who sits in Marshall, Texas, accepted Apple’s protection of “prosecution laches,” which may block a patent holder from imposing a patent after an unreasonable and unexplained delay. Gilstrap stated 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 Choose Gilstrap’s ruling and plans to enchantment,” its lawyer Douglas Kline of Goodwin Procter stated in an e mail.
Apple didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
PMC’s patent utility dated to purposes filed within the 1980s.
Gilstrap stated PMC employed a so-called “submarine” patent technique, submitting serial purposes after which protecting its patent portfolio “hidden” till business extensively adopted the underlying know-how.
He stated 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 circumstances made it simpler to problem submarine patents.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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