Feeds

Apple ordered to pay $8m over playlist patents

Personal Audio spat

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A federal jury has ordered Apple to pay a patent-holding firm $8m for violating two patents, after a protracted battle in the Eastern District of Texas, a jurisdiction notorious for handing down decisions friendly to patent holders.

Eight million dollars, however, is substantially less than first claimed by Personal Audio LLC, a company that exisits solely to enforce its patents, not to build products. The Texas firm had requested $84m.

The suit was filed on June 25, 2009, and originally involved not only Apple, but also Coby Electronics, Archos, and Sirius XM Radio. Coby and Archos settled with Personal Audio out of court, and their portion of the case was dismissed in May 2010. Sirius did the same, and their involvment was dismissed in July 2010.

Apple stayed, a jury trial (eventually) ensued, and Apple lost – if damages of a mere $8m can be considered a loss.

Jury verdict in Personal Audio v. Apple patent-infringement lawsuit

The 470th document filed in case number 9:09-cv-00111-RC was the jury's verdict

At issue were two patents, 6,199,076 and 7,509,178, both summarized in part as relating to "An audio program and message distribution system in which a host system organizes and transmits program segments to client subscriber locations."

Essentially, the two patents describe a device – in this case, an iPod, iPhone, or iPad – being able to download playlists and navigate within them. The Texas jury came to the conclusion that the patents were valid, and that Apple was violating them.

After two years of convoluted legal maneuvering among all the parties involved, Judge Ron Clark submitted his 56-page instructions to the jury last Thursday. The jury filed their verdict on Friday, 744 days after the case was filed.

Jury verdict in Personal Audio v. Apple patent-infringement lawsuit

Two years + 10 Personal Audio lawyers + 16 Apple lawyers + 470 document filings = $8m

With a mere $8m at stake, there's little financial motivation for Apple to appeal the jury's decision or the amount of the award – but stranger things have happened in today's wide, wacky, woolly world of patent litigation.

Exhibit A: the Lodsys licensing lunacy, which is currently grinding away in that same US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.