Apple set to fight $600m patent case

Apple is set to challenge a jury verdict after the tech giant was instructed to pay up to $625.5 million to Mirror Worlds for infringing software patents.

A federal jury in Tyler, Texas, ruled on Friday that Apple had infringed on three key patents owned by Mirror Worlds LLC. The patents related to the way files are displayed on the iPod, the iPhone and Mac. The technologies involved include Apple's Time Machine, Spotlight Search and Cover Flow interfaces. Mirror Worlds founder and Yale University computer-science Professor David Gelernter started his lawsuit against Apple in 2008. Apple challenged the validity of the patents and some claims were thrown out before the case was heard last week.

Apple is seeking to limit the damages from the lawsuit. Apple lawyer Jeffrey Randall argued that Mirror World patents had been sold for $210,000 and then $5 million and that the company was not worth more than that. If the $625.5 million award is granted then it would be the fourth-biggest patent verdict in U.S. history according to the Bloomberg News agency.

Patently Apple, a site dedicated to tracking Apple Patents, posted a series of 14 newly granted patents for Apple on Monday. Apple has won another Cover Flow patent and a set of patents pertaining to Apple's Time Machine. Both of these technologies were challenged by the Mirror Worlds lawsuit and the timing of the patent wins could be more than coincidence. Apple requested an emergency stay to delay the judge's final decision. If the court agrees, damages could be lowered to $208.5m.
 

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28 Comments

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My hate for companies sitting on patents not doing anything and getting payed for it, is more then my hate of apple. Why do these lawsuits always happen in east Texas. Ugh one of the few things I dislike of the state.

Motorola would now like a slice of mom's apple pie. With the launch of their lawsuit against apple, it would appear as though the entire jungle is chasing this wild wilderbeast through some very tall blades of grass. Amazing... Mirror Worlds drawing first blood.

Apple is seeking to limit the damages from the lawsuit. Apple lawyer Jeffrey Randall argued that Mirror World patents had been sold for $210,000 and then $5 million and that the company was not worth more than that. If the $625.5 million award is granted then it would be the fourth-biggest patent verdict in U.S. history according to the Bloomberg News agency.

If Apple and other companies were willing to pay to use patents, then companies who owned patents would be worth a lot more.

lt8480 said,

If Apple and other companies were willing to pay to use patents, then companies who owned patents would be worth a lot more.

Then companies would start buy all the patents they could without every using them to make profits off of ideas they didn't do any work to create..... o wait...

ILikeTobacco said,

Then companies would start buy all the patents they could without every using them to make profits off of ideas they didn't do any work to create..... o wait...

its a viscous circle though, if they spend money developing it and then correctly licensing it, they still not guarantees companies wont steal the ideas.

ILikeTobacco said,

Then companies would start buy all the patents they could without every using them to make profits off of ideas they didn't do any work to create..... o wait...

What he meant was 'Licencing' not outright selling...

This is why justice only goes to those who can afford it. You may win at first, but if the other side has deep pockets it can be years before you get anything and even lose. The only ones who truly benefit in these cases are the lawyers.

wait, APPL was granted a patent on another patent they are deemed to have infringed on?
i believe there's some good merit to this suit, however, since APPL is only looking to reduce the damages awarded. the claim that the company is worth "nothing" [quotes mine] just goes to show their ever-repugnant invincible attitude. good company, bad manners - i happen to be one of those who prefer better manners.

we'd see how this plays out.

Twisp said,
Why is it that every time i read about patent infringement-cases the trial is held in texas?

because the court system there is so screwed up patent wise, everyone runs to texas to file the suit, instead of going to their local federal court.....

Twisp said,
Why is it that every time i read about patent infringement-cases the trial is held in texas?
Texas is particularly friendly to the plaintiff.

neufuse said,

because the court system there is so screwed up patent wise, everyone runs to texas to file the suit, instead of going to their local federal court.....


yee haw!

It does make me smile to see this happening to them.
For years all I hear is "Apple are innovators" from Apple boys ... and when I reply no, they are the best marketing computer company, but they do no innovate, they copy an idea and market it better than anyone else, I get shot down in flames! ... this lawsuit is yet more evidence that's what they do.

Whilst true, it's worth remembering that they usually implement the "stolen" ideas better than the original creators were ever going to. ;p

hotdog963al said,
Whilst true, it's worth remembering that they usually implement the "stolen" ideas better than the original creators were ever going to. ;p

I hate to say it but I agree.

Exosphere said,
It does make me smile to see this happening to them.
For years all I hear is "Apple are innovators" from Apple boys ... and when I reply no, they are the best marketing computer company, but they do no innovate, they copy an idea and market it better than anyone else, I get shot down in flames! ... this lawsuit is yet more evidence that's what they do.

Unfortunatly for you, Coverflow was bought not copied

evo_spook said,

Unfortunatly for you, Coverflow was bought not copied

He never mentioned Coverflow, did he. He could have meant the other thing which were copied. Try reading the article...

Okay, now how long until the community here starts to flood the comments with cheering? I'm not a fan of Apple, but I've got to say the comments I know will be here shortly are nothing more than to be expected...

As for the lawsuit, I saw this coming. Wonder how long the good fight will go on.