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Patents Businesses IOS Software The Almighty Buck The Courts Apple Technology

Apple To Appeal Five-Year-Long Patent Battle After $439.7 Million Loss (theverge.com) 69

Appel has been ordered to pay $439.7 million to the patent-holding firm VirnetX for infringing on four patented technologies that were apparently used in FaceTime and other iOS apps. According to The Verge, Apple plans to appeal the ruling -- continuing this long-running patent battle, which began back in 2012. From the report: VirnetX first filed suit against Apple in 2010, winning $368 million just two years later. It then sued again in 2012, which is the suit that's being ruled on today. Apple initially lost the suit, then filed for a mistrial. It won a new trial, lost that trial, was ordered to pay around $300 million, then lost some more and is now having that amount upped even further. That's because a judge found Apple guilty of willful infringement, bumping its payment amount from $1.20 per infringing Apple device to $1.80 per device. Those include certain iPhones, iPads, and Macs. VirnetX says the ruling is "very reasonable." Apple didn't issue a statement other than to say that it plans to appeal. While $440 million isn't a lot of money for Apple, there's principle at stake here: VirnetX is a patent troll that makes its money from licensing patents and suing other parties. The company's SEC filing states, "Our portfolio of intellectual property is the foundation of our business model."
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Apple To Appeal Five-Year-Long Patent Battle After $439.7 Million Loss

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  • I haven't gone to look it up, but that number sounds kinda familiar... wasn't that the amount (or close to it) Apple won from Samsung for infringing the rounded corners patent?
  • [al-awa2el.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    First of all, a Patent is a thing with value, and if you own it, you own its value. It doesn't matter how you came into owning it.

    Second, if someone infringes on your patent, they have infringed on your patent. They have stolen your thing of value, and they owe you damages. Again, it matters not how you came into ownership of the patent.

    So let's just drop this "patent troll" bullshit and call a spade a spade. Apple is an intellectual property thief. Several trials and multiple courts have found them so.

    • by Xenx ( 2211586 )
      I'm not going to make a judgement on merit in this particular case, but not all patents are equal. I will agree that a company, regardless of details, that owns a strong patent should be able to monetize it. That being said, a lot of these patents are the lowest of hanging fruit and shouldn't even exist. Patent trolls do exist.
    • by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @07:36PM (#55380293) Homepage Journal

      You know I worked for a small regional computer manufacturer in the late 90's and we actually had to spar with the company who was infamously going around filing lawsuits alleging infringement because we sold computers that had blinking cursors. They had a legitimate patent for that.

      The problem is that everyone wants to argue the extremes and turn this into a binary problem when it is not. There are good and legitimate patents; there are some real suck-ass crap patents, and there is everything in between. Companies like Apple generally do not infringe on patents purposefully; they both pay for and receive tons of license fees under contracts that are overwhelmingly not the result of court cases. They aren't seeking to undermine the patent system or play a bunch of high stakes poker with patents. Software patents are too easy to work around.

  • First line "Appel has been ordered to pay"...think it was a spoonerism of "Apple" and "Appeal."
  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @08:03PM (#55380413) Homepage

    I generally applaud everyone that fights patent trolls, but Apple, one of the biggest players who could actually push and affect change in the ridiculous patent system, is really happy to get their own useless patents granted in an effort to strong-arm either small players or get necessary technology for free, so in my book they are not better than patent trolls.
    Yeah, the system is broken, but we are happy with it as long as we come ahead in the long run. And we'll fight some small patent trolls, a symptom of the system, along the way just to show form...

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      That's the real elephant in the room. This "poor victim" is a dominant corporation that chooses to use the current status quo to their advantage. They really shouldn't get any sympathy.

    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      What definition of patent troll are you using which applies to Apple?

  • Oh no! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @09:39PM (#55380803)

    Is someone trying to steal their rounded corners idea again?! ;)

  • is BeauHD. No other paid person gets the very first fucking word wrong in their article. Editors? What are those?

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."