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Judge flips $625.5m Apple patent payout

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

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A US federal judge threw out a $625.5m patent infringement verdict brought against Apple that had been awarded to Mirror Worlds LLC in October last year.

On Tuesday, Judge Leonard Davis said Apple hadn't infringed a patent owned by Mirror Worlds, which brought a lawsuit against the Jobsian outfit in 2008. The company was founded by Yale Professor David Gerlernter, who served as its chief scientist.

The case concerned Spotlight, Time Machine and Cover Flow parts of Apple's Mac OS – used for searching, automatically archiving and displaying documents and images respectively.

According to Bloomberg, the judge in Tyler, Texas, said the damage award was too high and added that the validity of three Mirror Worlds patents had been upheld.

Late last year, a jury found Apple guilty of patent infringement and the court awarded damages of $208.5m for each offence.

At the time, Apple said that there were outstanding issues around two of the three patents at issue and around the jury's verdict form. Apple's filing also said there were pending counterclaims for inequitable conduct.

It additionally accused Mirror Worlds of "triple-dipping" by asking for payment on three different patents.

"Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law," said Judge Davis in his ruling. ®

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