Apple saw a $625.5 million judgment leveled against it overturned by a Texas court. That judgment was related to alleged patent infringement by Apple.
Apple can breathe a sigh of relief, now that a federal judge
has overturned a $625.5 million judgment leveled against it in a Texas court
for violating patents held by Mirror Worlds LLC.
The original lawsuit accused Apple's Mac OS X, mobile
devices and personal computers of violating Mirror Worlds' technology for
organizing data, such as documents, into a "stream." The patents themselves were
first filed in 1999 by a Yale computer science professor, David Gelernter, who
founded Mirror Worlds. Apple's Spotlight, Time Machine and Cover flow
applications encompass the products at issue.
In October 2010, Mirror Worlds won a verdict against Apple
to the tune of $625.5 million. Apple promptly filed an emergency motion
accusing its accuser of "triple dipping" if it won $205.8 million for each of
the three patents allegedly in dispute. Attorneys for Apple also argued that
two of the patents had outstanding issues that made them inapplicable.
In the end, though, the reversal came down to the judge
countering the jury's judgment.
"Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the
jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation to support important elements it
was required to establish under the law," U.S. district judge Leonard Davis,
who also heard the companies' original arguments, wrote in the ruling. The case
is Mirror Worlds LLC v. Apple, Inc., 08cv88, U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.
Davis is also the judge who presided over i4i's patent-infringement
case against Microsoft, which has reached
the U.S. Supreme Court
While patent-infringement cases between large and small
companies frequently make news-if only because the media always loves an
narrative-much of the tech industry's attention lately has focused on battles
between the titans. In March, Nokia filed another legal complaint against Apple
with the U.S. International Trade Commission, accusing its rival of infringing
on mobile patents.
Nokia's previous complaints to the ITC argued that Apple was
in violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which prohibits the importation
of products that infringe on others' technology. In addition to the ITC action,
Apple and Nokia have sued and counter-sued over their respective patent
portfolios. Nokia claims its purpose is to protect its $60 billion in wireless
research and development investments.
In October 2010, Motorola also filed a complaint against
Apple with the ITC, arguing that the iPhone maker violated Motorola patents in
its mobile technology. That followed on the heels of HTC
for patent infringement, which in turn invited a counter-suit
Somewhere out there, an attorney specializing in tech
patents is already pricing out yachts.