Feeds

Apple ordered to pay $8m over playlist patents

Personal Audio spat

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.