Apple Narrowly Avoids $308.5 Million Patent Infringement

From time to time, companies like Apple are embroiled in patent infringement lawsuits. It shouldn’t be surprising as Apple is a huge company and there are companies, also known as patent trolls, who use obscure patents they own to try and sue for patent infringement in hopes of reaching a settlement.

Sometimes this process can be long and drawn out, but in this particular instance, Apple was handed a quick and decisive victory after it was discovered that there was a scheme to extract more money from other companies. Apple was hit with a patent infringement lawsuit over a patent for digital rights management technology, and the company involved wanted $308.5 million in royalties paid to them.

However, when US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ultimately ruled that the patent was not enforceable after it was discovered that the company that owned the patent intentionally delayed its application. This is apparently because the company wanted to extract more royalties from other tech companies.

Apparently the company’s patent application dates back to the 1980s, but was only awarded in 2010 and later. According to Gilstrap, “The course of conduct undertaken by PMC constitutes an unreasonable delay and an abuse of the statutory patent system.” The judge also found that the company had used a strategy in which it ensured patents wouldn’t be issued until infringement became widespread in the tech industry, and a 1991 document specifically named companies like Apple, Intel, IBM, and Microsoft.

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