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Apple fined $19m in 'Predictive Snooping' case

Had hoped case would only cost it $270,000

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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. ®

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