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Federal Court: Apple triumphed Patent Case Judgement

2 min read

Shivani Pandey

Published on: August 09, 2021, at 9:48 IST

Apple convinced a Federal Judge to throw out a $308.5 million Jury Judgement it lost to a privately owned licensing firm for violating a Patent linked with digital rights management.

“This court takes very seriously the prospect of disturbing the unanimous verdict of a duly empaneled jury, but PMC’s deliberate strategy of delay was a conscious and egregious misuse of the statutory patent system”, Justice Gilstrap mentioned.

PMC, a company based in Sugar Land Texas stated in its 2015 lawsuit that the FairPlay Software used by Apple iTunes service and App Store to decode apps, movies and, music violated its Patent obtained in 2012.

The Judge, who sits in Marshall, Texas, acknowledged Apple’s defense of prosecution laches, which can stop a patent holder from implementing a Patent post with an unexplained and unreasonable delay. 

Justice Gilstrap stated PMC’s delay lasted many years. 

“PMC respectfully disagrees with Judge Gilstrap’s ruling and plans to appeal”, PMC Lawyer Douglas Kline of Goodwin Procter mentioned in an email.

However, Apple did not immediately issue a response. PMC’s Patent application dated to applications filed in the 1980s.

Justice Gilstrap stated, “PMC employed a so-called ‘submarine’ patent strategy, filing serial applications and then keeping its patent portfolio hidden. Until the industry widely adopted the underlying technology, PMC would demand licensing fees or allege infringement only after it believed infringement was widespread.”

June 1 Judgement of the Federal Appeals Court dealing with Patent cases made it easier to question submarine Patents.

Also Read: Apple CEO Tim Cook to Testify in Defense of App Store