Apple fined $19m in 'Predictive Snooping' case
Had hoped case would only cost it $270,000
Apple has been ordered to pay $19m (£12.9m/€14.3m) in damages after losing a patent infringement case which its lawyers hoped might only cost the firm $270,000.
In 2007, Opti, a technology holding company, brought the case against Apple, alleging that the Mac maker makes and sells products incorporating three “Predictive Snooping” cache memory patents it owns.
Apple acknowledged it used the technology, but one of the firm’s lawyers, Eric Albritton, argued that the patents were invalid because the technology – the patents describe a way of transferring data between a processor, memory and other components – existed before Opti claimed to have invented it.
Albritton previously said that if Apple lost the case then a fair damages settlement would be $270,000 (£184,599/€203,850).
But the jury ruled in favour of Opti, which has also launched a similar lawsuit against AMD as part of its ongoing strategy for pursuing “patent infringement claims relating to... Predictive Snooping technology”.
Apple hasn’t said if it will appeal the verdict.
In 2006, Opti settled out of court with Nvidia - in a deal worth $750,000 a quarter over three years – after Opti sued the graphics chip firm over the same three predictive snooping patents. ®
Apple file stupid patents, such as a volume control in an application (wow that's new), so they shouldn't cry when someone else sues them over crap patents...
So the kings of patenting prior art assume that prior art will invalidate a claim? With their latest claim on volume control for browsers, I'd say it serves them right.
Another fail for the unethical application of "cost-benefit analysis". Instead of doing the right thing and licensing the tech, it did a cost-benefit analysis and figured getting caught doing something unethical was cheaper than doing it right. The same idea that made Ford not fix its Pinto. I'm glad they were proved wrong.
That is the problem here - because of Trolls like Opti, real innovators like Apple have to spend all day trying to think what ridiculous patent some one else might come up with, and patent it first.
How the patents are used is what matters - Apple carries out lots of R&D, leading to plenty of real products, and only occasionally sues other manufacturers. Opti do not make anything, have no R&D spend (this patent was bought from someone else) and will use any profit from this lawsuit to buy more dodgy patents. As a result, I am sure that Apple would be more than happy if the majority of their patents were thrown out.
When I learnt digital techniques in the 70s ....
I am sure the UK course dealt with this sort of thing.
One technique was to preload a chunk of program into memory and as the processor actioned the current program step the hardware would look ahead to see if more memory manipulation was needed by a jump or data access instruction and trigger the event. The action was then at least halfway accomplished by the time the processor had moved on to the next program step.
As stated ,if these things are obvious development, how are they patentable outside of the US, where nothing seems to be obvious!