A texas federal jury said that Apple must pay $308.5 million for a patent infringement to Personalized Media Communications associated with digital rights management.
Apple is to pay $308.5 million for patent infringement is a huge settlement. In this case, the damages sought were for an infringer’s “use of the mark.” In deciding the case, the US Jury found that an apple corporation had made prior infringements in violation of patents that covered an array of products including computers. This ruling, by the US Jury, is not final and has the potential to be changed or modified based on the findings of the appeals court.
If the damages had been awarded to the plaintiff in this case, they would have been financially rewarded many times over. However, they decided to pursue the case against Apple because they felt it was a consumer versus the profits of the company. Now that the verdict has been issued, the plaintiff must pay the damages. However, it would seem that they would appeal the court’s ruling and try to get the damages awarded to them for non-infringement. If they win, they will walk away with at least a small settlement, but if they lose, they stand to lose much more than that.
In the first place, the ruling stated that it is irrelevant whether or not there was any intent to infringe the patents. The US Jury heard testimony from witnesses claiming that the company knew about the danger of infringing the patents in this case. Therefore, they should not be held responsible for damages for the alleged infringement of a patent they knew about and for which they were solely responsible. It also does not matter whether or not the infringing activities were engaged in with knowledge or just having the wrong idea in mind.
One of the most important things to remember is that the jurors were not allowed to consider the value of the product in determining if the company acted responsibly in licensing its intellectual property. Apple was not an infringer per se, but rather was guilty of attempting to license an existing product without purchasing that product in its original form. Therefore, they are not going to be able to be awarded the full amount they sued for. They were also not able to be awarded damages for products that are no longer on the market. This means that the verdict could make Apple look bad and also may make it difficult for the company when negotiating licensing agreements in the future.
There is still hope for those who are owed damages for the infringing activities, but they may have to fight harder to receive what they deserve. For instance, the damages awarded to Microsoft might not be enough to put Apple out of business, especially considering that the jury did not even have to consider damages when it sided with Microsoft. The damages awarded to Google could not even come close to covering their legal costs, and the appeals court made the same argument. The fact that these damages will not cover all of the original costs means that the company may have to raise its prices significantly in order to cover its losses.
Whether or not Apple has to pay $ 308.5 million for patents infringements is still up in the air. Right now, however, the company is probably happy that the lawsuit is over and that it has nothing more to do than recoup its losses. Right now, it appears as though the damages awarded to Microsoft was too much for Apple to handle, and the company is moving on from that point. Whether the company ever receives any damages from this lawsuit is unknown.