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Apple Lose Another Patent Stealing Case Forced To Pay Millions Again

After being fined hundreds of millions for questionable behaviour against iPhone owners, Apple has again been forced to part with over A$407M dollars this time because of claims that they stole patented technology to use in their iPhones which are struggling to compete with technology developed by Samsung for their Android devices.

The Company has also threatened to pull out of the UK iPhone market if future wireless patent cases taken out against the world’s biggest tech Company don’t go their way.

On Saturday, a jury in Texas USA, told Apple that they have to pay A$400 million in royalties after a retrial in a patent dispute over wireless technology used in its iPhones and other products, part of a global fight with a company that says it owns patents on the LTE cellular standard.

PanOptis Patent Management and its Optis Cellular and Unwired Planet units took action against Apple two years ago.

They were initially awarded A$680M million but this was lowered by the US jury over the weekend.

The trial focused only on how much Apple should pay. U.S. District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap in April upheld the jury’s liability finding but ordered a new trial on damages, saying the jury should have been allowed to consider whether the royalty demand was consistent with a requirement that standard-essential patents be licensed on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory,” or FRAND, terms.

“We thank the jury for their time but are disappointed by the verdict and plan to appeal,” Apple, based in Cupertino, California, said in a statement.

“Optis makes no products, and its sole business is to sue companies using patents they accumulate. We will continue to defend against their attempts to extract unreasonable payments for patents they acquire.”

Apple have not said why they believe they have a right to steal patents irrelevant of who owns the patents. This is not the first time that Apple has been caught out stealing patents in an effort to compete with Samsung.

Optis is hoping to collect as much as $7 billion from the iPhone maker.

A U.K. court may decide to set a global royalty rate, prompting Apple lawyers in July to threaten that the company may pull out of the British market if forced to pay a “commercially unacceptable” amount.

Bloomberg claims the Texas case involves technology the company claims is critical to implementation of the 4G communications standard.

Optis says Apple’s smartphones, watches, and tablets that operate over 4G networks were using its patented technology.

The five patents in the Texas case were originally issued to Panasonic, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.

Panasonic and LG transferred ownership of two patents each to Optis Cellular in 2014, while Samsung transferred its patent to Unwired Planet in 2017, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database.

Debates over how to value patents on so-called “standard-essential technology” have roiled the tech industry for decades and have become more imperative as wireless inventions are incorporated in additional consumer products, like home appliances and automobiles.

Optis claims that Apple had refused all fair offers and has accused the company of being an “unwilling licensee,” a key issue in the trial in London.

 

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