On March 16, a federal jury determined that Apple did not breach five patents regarding wireless technology. This decision follows a February ruling in a separate Texas case ordering Apple to pay millions for patent infringement.
The patents in question in the March decision were under the ownership of Core Wireless, a subsidiary of Conversant Intellectual Property Management. The company originally claimed in 2012 that Apple violated more than 12 of its patents. Over the course of the case, Core Wireless reduced its claim to five patents, focusing on the communication protocols that Apple uses in its iPads and iPhones. Court documents show that Core Wireless wanted Apple to pay $100 million in damages, but the phone and tablet maker argued that if it was forced to pay anything, it should be less than $1 million. The jury took Apple’s side.
Conversant and Core Wireless own and buy patents, generating revenue through licensing. In this lawsuit, the patents were previously under Nokia ownership. Conversant purchased the patents in 2011. It is unclear if Nokia would have gained anything from Core Wireless winning the lawsuit. This case is one of many lawsuits that have been brought against Apple over the past several years. In February, a federal jury ordered the company to pay Smartflash $533 million for the infringement of three patents. A few days later, Ericsson filed seven lawsuits in Texas and submitted two complaints to the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming that Apple has breached 41 of its wireless technology patents.
Patents are just one of several types of intellectual property. Under applicable federal law, patent holders reserve the right to obtain reasonable royalties from parties who infringe upon their properties. Lawyers may be able to help those who find themselves involved in these types of disputes.
Source: CNET, “Apple didn’t violate wireless tech patents, jury finds,” Don Reisinger, March 17, 2015